Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) has blamed the government for the recent incidents of communal violence in different parts of the country.
"The government is behind all the attacks on the country's Hindu community," Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, secretary-general of BNP, told a human chain in front of Jatiya Press Club in the capital on Saturday.
The BNP leader said, "The only reason for the unrest is to divert people's attention from government failures. This government is depriving people of their rights."
He complained that police did not provide any security to the puja mandaps.
The BNP secretary-general said the government has failed to reduce the prices of daily necessities, provide food, clothing and shelter to the poor as well as maintain communal harmony in the country.
Regarding the spiralling prices of daily necessities, Mirza Fakhrul said, "They promised to provide rice at Tk10 per kg. But now the rice is at Tk70. Soybean oil price has risen by Tk7 per litre in just a week. The prices of sugar, salt, vegetables and pulses have gone up too."
"The government pays no heed to what the people will eat. Only the Awami League will eat and smuggle money abroad by corruption and build houses there. This government has completely failed to run the country."
He added that people now want their rights back. "They want the right to vote, they want to see the country's leader free, they want cases against our 35 lakh party men withdrawn."
The senior BNP leader said, "I ask the government, please stop oppressing the people. Resign immediately and hand over the power to a non-partisan and neutral government that will hand over the power to the people's representatives through an election."
"We fought in 1971 for an independent, democratic and free Bangladesh. This government has destroyed the country. They want to form a one-party government system," Fakhrul lamented.
The BNP leader demanded immediate measures to rein in the commodity prices. He also demanded the release and treatment of Begum Khaleda Zia and the withdrawal of all cases against Tarique Rahman.
Among others, senior party leaders including BNP Standing Committee Member Mirza Abbas and Senior Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi were present at the human chain.