Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday asked the authorities concerned to investigate whether oppo-sition BNP and Jamaat, who had unleashed a campaign of terror and arson attacks during 2013-14, are involved in the recent fire incidents in the country.
“It should be investigated whether they (BNP-Jamaat) are taking a different path by causing incidents like fire and cripple the economy,” she said.
The prime minister said this while speaking at the Awami League Local Government Nomination Board meeting held at her official residence Ganabhaban.
Her call came even as another massive fire broke out in Dhaka’s New Super Market gutting scores of shops early Saturday.
Hasina, also the president of Awami League, asked to investigate whether the fire incidents in various markets were conspiracy or sabotage to hurt the economy.
She asked to increase surveillance in important markets across the country.
“ Everyone should be more aware. Everyone has to make arrangements on their own initiative to guard (their establishments). All efforts by the government will continue,” she said.
She also said that unwanted crowds must not be allowed to gather during the fire fighters’ battle to con-trol the blaze and strict action will be taken in case of any obstruction regarding this matter.
The PM said that when the first fire incident occurred it was thought to be an accident.
“But after the couple of other fire incidents at the same time of the first one… the fire incidents are tak-ing place after 6am. Surveillance should be increased and other markets have to remain alert,” she said.
She also mentioned that it has been noticed that when the fire service comes they face obstacles by some people.
“Why will they face obstacles and while they tried to douse the fire some people with sticks and blunt instruments attacked the fire fighters. Who are these people?, ” she wondered.
She said that a careful study of the four recent fire incidents at shopping malls in the city suggests these have been either planned or manipulated.
“We know that some political parties are there to wage movement after Eid, cripple the economy and oust the government. Yes, you can oust the government, but what are the faults of these common people and businessmen,” she asked.
She said that businesspeople have been the worst sufferers as fire incidents hit them at a time when they looked for brisk business.
“This will not be spared easily, and we have increased our surveillance in this matter,” she said.
She also urged the people to remain alert.
Recalling the arson terrorism by the BNP-Jamaat clique in the recent past, she suspected that they might resort to another path aimed at hurting the economy.
“It should be properly investigated,” she asserted.
“In the past they burnt the common people and now wonder whether they have taken a different path to cripple the economy. We have to unearth this mystery,” she said.
She requested all to remain alert regarding BNP-Jamaat’s change of strategy of taking to arson terrorism in another form.
“We have to keep this under watch,” she added.