Information Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud today suspected the recent phenomenon of child lifting rumours leading to lynching of several innocent people were spread to obstruct construction of the Padma Bridge and other development projects.
“Rumours were spread that the (construction of) Padma Bridge requires ‘shishu boli’ (child immolation) which is a nasty and dangerous propaganda,” he said reiterating the government pledge to expose the rumour mongers to stern punitive actions.
Talking to newsmen at a media briefing at his office, Hasan called the incidents of lynching simply as “murders” and said the law enforcement agencies by now arrested 44 of the culprits involved in the lynching or mass-beatings.
“The government is taking tougher legal actions against the culprits involved in spreading the rumours (as well) while none could prove a single incident of child abduction,” he said.
Hasan, also the publicity and publication secretary of ruling Awami League, said police was also scrutinizing the political identities of the rumour mongers.
“(But) I urge you all, please don’t pay heed to the rumours,” he said.
Hasan said as part of the government campaign against child lifting rumours, his ministry took various awareness programmes across the country and urged all to work together to resist the culprits.
“Everyone should work in unison (to negate the propaganda),” he added.
Replying a question, Hasan said the government as well as the ruling Awami League was distributing relief among the flood affected people and urged BNP and Ganaforum to do their best for the deluge victims as well.
He, however, visibly expressed his fears about the opposition capacity to do anything visible as the “activities of BNP and Ganaforum are limited in city’s Press Club and Naya Paltan areas alone”. Hasan said a meeting on the ninth wage board award for journalists and employees of newspapers and news agencies would be held tomorrow and then it would be moved to the cabinet.