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SANGSAD BHABAN: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today told Parliament that Khaleda Zia has brought the killers of the Father of the Nation to parliament going one step forward of her husband Ziaur Rahman who gave indemnity to them alongside postings at foreign missions.
“Ziaur Rahman awarded the killers of the August 15 (1975) carnage by giving them jobs at embassies alongside giving them indemnity while Khaleda Zia brought the killers to parliament of the people going one step ahead from him (Zia),” she said.
The Prime Minister was taking part in a discussion on an obituary reference at the deaths of sitting MP Prof Ali Ashraf (Cumilla-7), seven former lawmakers including a state minister, and some noted personalities. The obituary refere3nce was later adopted unanimously.
Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury moved the condolence motion in parliament at the beginning of the 14th session of the 11th parliament.
The day’s business of the parliament was adjourned after adoption of the obituary reference over the death of sitting Awami League MP Prof Ali Ashraf in order to pay respect to him as per the tradition.
On July 30, valiant freedom fighter and five-time MP Ali Ashraf died at the age of 74. He was born at Gallai village in Chandina Upazila under Cumilla district on November 17, 1947.
The Prime Minister said that it was a matter of regret that Bangabandhu’s killer Col (Abdur) Rashid is a man of Chandina while Khondaker Mostaq was from its adjacent area.
She said Khaleda Zia brought two killers of Bangabandhu — Col Rashid from Chandina and Maj Huda from Chuadnga.
Khaleda Zia brought Rashid to parliament from Chandina through the February 15, 1996 voterless election which was boycotted by all other political parties and made him (Rashid) the opposition leader.
The Prime Minister said Prof Ali Ashraf was later elected lawmaker from the constituency.
Describing Prof Ali Ashraf as a versatile person, the Leader of the House said: “He (Ali Ashraf) was a knowledgeable person. He was a professor. He did business and also politics. We’ve lost a versatile parliamentarian, which is very unfortunate for us.”
Noting that fresh parliamentarians could learn many things from the five-time lawmaker, she said, “We lost a seasoned parliamentarian.”
The Premier said Prof Ali Ashraf served the 7th parliament as Deputy Speaker alongside discharging his duties efficiently being either a chairman or member of different parliamentary committees.
Coming down on the memory lane she said Ali Ashraf always protested the August 15, 1975 carnage and met her in London in 1980 and also testified against the killers in the 1975 November 3 jail killing case.
The Prime Minister said Prof Ali Ashraf was also a good writer and wrote 15 books on contemporary politics, economy and international affairs, adding, “The young parliamentarians can learn a lot from his books.”
She said a research-based book titled “Rural Economy and Development of Bangladesh,” written by Ali Ashraf will contribute immensely in building Bangladesh in the future.
The Leader of the House prayed for eternal peace of the departed soul and expressed deep sympathy to his family members.
Law Minister Anisul Huq, Agriculture Minister Dr Muhammad Abdur Razzaque, LGRD and Cooperatives Minister Md Tazul Islam, Deputy Opposition Leader Ghulam Muhammed Quader, Opposition Chief Whip Mashiur Rahman Ranga, AL lawmakers Mazibul Hoque (Cumilla-11), Begum Matia Chowdhury (Sherpur-2), Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim (Gopalganj-2) and Muhammad Faruk Khan (Gopalganj-1), Jatiya Party lawmakers Kazi Firoz Rashid (Dhaka-6) and Anisul Islam Mahmud (Chattogram-5), Ganoforum lawmaker Sultan Muhammed Mansur Ahmed (Maulvibazar-2), Tarikat Federation lawmaker Syed Nazibul Bashar Maizvandary (Chattogram-2) and Bikalpadhara lawmaker Abdul Mannan (Laxmipur-4) also took part in the discussion.
The parliament also expressed profound shock at the casualties in some recent incidents including the Rupganj fire in Narayanganj, lightning strike in Chapainawabganj, Haiti earthquake (a Caribbean country), and the recent accidents that took place at home and abroad.
The House also conveyed deep sympathy to the bereaved families.
A one-minute silence was observed and a Munajat was offered seeking the eternal peace of the departed souls.
AL MP Md. Hafiz Ruhul Amin Madani (Mymensingh-7) conducted the Munajat.