BNP leaders Friday continued protests against the Jatiya Muktijoddha Council's move to revoke gallantry awards given to Ziaur Rahman – the founder of the party.
BNP Vice-Chairman Shamsuzzaman Dudu said any move to demean Ziaur Rahman would degrade the country's independence and democracy.
Meanwhile, the party's standing committee Member Gayeshwar Chandra Roy noted the move to strip Zia of Bir Uttam title has embarrassed the entire nation.
"Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman himself handed over the Bir Uttam award to Ziaur Rahman. If it is revoked now, it would be degrading to independence, the Liberation War and democracy," Shamsuzzaman Dudu told a meeting at Jatiya Press Club.
The Jatiya Muktijoddha Council decided to revoke the gallantry title Bir Uttam awarded by the state to Ziaur Rahman on allegations he positioned the self-acknowledged killers of Bangabandhu in important state posts and helped them leave the country. Bir Uttam is the second-highest award in Bangladesh for individual gallantry.
Dudu said the ruling Awami League itself denies its founder Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman with the move. "The ruling party is inviting trouble by hatching a title-revoking conspiracy," he added.
Referring to the ruling Awami League, the BNP vice-chairman said no one will be in power forever.
He further said, "Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy, Maulana Bhashani, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, and Ziaur Rahman are the nation's leaders, and their roles are recorded in history. We should move forward with our ancestors' successes and failures."
In another programme in the capital Friday, BNP Standing Committee Member Gayeshwar Chandra Roy said the issue had been brought unnecessarily and irrelevantly before the nation.
"I do not think we need any fresh efforts to establish Ziaur Rahman's contribution to the Liberation War," he noted.
"The title is well documented in history. He fought against the Pakistanis and is one of the prominent Liberation War heroes. I thought the Awami League would give him a posthumous reception marking the golden jubilee of independence."
Referring to Awami League, Gayeshwar said, "Look into the eyes of the people and try to understand what they say. Return to democracy."