Unrest over any death undesirable | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 28, 2021 / LAST MODIFIED: 02:45 AM, February 28, 2021

Unrest over any death undesirable

PM on Mushtaq; says DSA to provide digital security to people

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said that the death of anyone is not desired and so is not any unrest centering the demise.

"No death is desirable. But it is also not desirable to create unrest centering that. On November 3 [1975], four national leaders of the country were brutally killed in jail. There is no such incident in the country now. What can be done if someone falls ill and dies?" Hasina said responding to a query on the recent demise of Writer Mushtaq Ahmed in prison.

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The premier was briefing the media virtually about the UN recommendation for graduating from LDC status from her official residence the Gono Bhaban. Her sister Sheikh Rehana was sitting next to her at that time.

Mushtaq, 53, who had been locked up under the controversial Digital Security Act for over nine months, died on February 25 at the Kashimpur High Security Jail-3 in Gazipur.

He was critical, on social media, of the government's handling of the pandemic.

On May 6 last year, Rapid Action Battalion arrested him at his Dhaka home for "spreading rumours and carrying out anti-government activities".

The charges were filed under the DSA and he had been in that prison since August 20.

The incident triggered criticism at home and abroad.

Political parties and human rights bodied came down heavily on the government saying the government is using DSC to gag those criticizing the government.

In response to a question that her government is facing huge criticism at home and abroad due to DSA, the prime minister said, "When we have built a digital Bangladesh, it is our responsibility to provide digital security."

During the question-answer, a journalist wanted to know about the Prime Minister's comment as her government is facing criticism due to harassment of journalists regarding the Digital Security Act.

In response, she said, "We have to fulfill this responsibility so that no one -- from the youngest children to the youth of our country -- goes astray in the digital sphere or gets involved in militancy, terrorism, or any other activity that is harmful to the country."

That is why it is essential to provide digital security along with developing a digital Bangladesh, she said.

Sheikh Hasina said, "I don't want to talk any more about this. But I will say that those who are criticising, will continue to do so. But are you noticing something? Who is criticising the most?"

Hasina also said that it is her government's responsibility to provide digital security so that none can do any work which will harm the country or the country's people.

Saying that she is 75 years old and got involved in procession and took to the streets from her school life back in 1962, she said, "That's why I know more or less all the people of the country. I know who says what and why."

In another question about DSA, the PM said it is a matter of relativity whether the law is being misused.

"I think law takes its course and it will. No one will be punished in a trial if s/he does not commit the crime."

PM said we should avoid such activities which cause harm to the country and the people.

In response to a question on the recent documentary of Qatar-based television channel Al Jazeera, PM said she does not want to make any reaction or want to say anything about it.

"Because it is the country's people who will judge what a television channel says or does, it is the country's people who will judge -- how much true or baseless it was."

The PM also said, "I will tell the country's people don't bother about it [Al Jazeera report]. Bangladesh is going ahead and will go ahead. We can go forward braving those."

Hasina also said, those who did not want Bangladesh's independence, those who killed the Father of the Nation, those who wanted to kill me, turned the country into an arena for arms smuggling and corruption--how will they accept the progress of Bangladesh? They must try to discredit the country."

The prime minister added, "We have nothing to worry about. My politics do not depend on what a channel says. My politics is to work for the people."

 

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