Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said that no one's death is desirable, but it is also not desirable to create unrest around it.
She made the comment while replying to a query over the recent death of writer Mushtaq Ahmed who died in custody on Thursday while facing trial in a Digital Security Act case. She was addressing the Q&A session at a press conference at Gonobhaban on Saturday, organised to highlight the achievements that brought forth the final recommendation of the United Nations to move from the list of least developed countries to developing countries.
Referring to the killing of four national leaders in jail, the PM said no such incident has taken place yet. We have seen who collaborated with those who carried out the jail killings.
During the question and answer session, a journalist asked the PM, "What is your comment on the harassment of journalists due to the Digital Security Act of Bangladesh for which the government is being criticised?"
Sheikh Hasina said as we have built digital Bangladesh, it is our responsibility to provide digital security. Digital security must be provided, so that children, youth and young people do not go astray; so that they do not do anything that harms the country or the people.
The PM said the law moves at its own pace. Whether the law is being misapplied is a matter of perspective. Which is misapplied and which is not is a relative matter. But I think the law is moving at its own pace.
She said if someone does not commit a crime, he will not be punished. The Act is needed to punish people who are working to harm the country. We have made digital Bangladesh. You take the opportunity, but you must see to it that Bangladesh is not harmed.
Replying to a reporter's question on Al Jazeera's recent documentary 'All the Prime Minister's Men', the PM said Bangladesh is not worried about Al Jazeera's news. To find out what a television channel did is not our job. I have no statement in this regard. The countrymen have seen what they have done. To believe it or not is up to the people. It is now clear to the people of the country what happened and how it happened.
Sheikh Hasina said critics would carry on their criticisms. I am 75 years old. I have been on the streets for politics since the school life; I have been on the streets in processions since 1962. So, more or less, I know everyone in this country.
At the press conference, a journalist asked the PM when she will be vaccinated against coronavirus. She replied, "I will definitely get vaccinated. But I first want to see what percentage of people in my country have been vaccinated, how many people I have been able to give the vaccine. If another person lives taking my vaccine, that's the biggest thing, isn't it! I am 75 years old. Today or tomorrow, I will be no more."
She said we have a target. When the target is reached, and if there is any vaccine left, I will take mine.
In reply to a query over whether she would participate in the 2024 elections, Sheikh Hasina said the decision will be taken when 2024 comes.
The PM said on the occasion of Mujib Centenary, houses are being provided to 8,92,000 homeless people under a programme.
She said Tk95,574 crore has been allocated in the current budget for the social security sector, which is 16.83% of the budget and 3.01% of GDP. The number of beneficiaries is about 3.25 crore. Scholarships and stipends are being provided to 2.53 crore students from primary to higher education.
Highlighting Bangladesh's self-sufficiency in food production, she said Bangladesh is the third largest rice producer in the world and also self-sufficient in fish, meat, eggs and vegetables. Bangladesh ranks second in terms of growth rate of fish production in inland open water and Bangladesh ranks first among 11 hilsa producing countries.