Awami League General Secretary and Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader on Monday said those who vandalized Bangabandhu’s sculpture would have to pay heavy price for their audacious acts.
“The government will not spare anyone involved with the sculpture vandalism,” he told a press conference on contemporary issues at the Road Transport and Highways Division conference room at the secretariat here.
Quader said the work of Bangabandhu sculpture at Dholaipar in the capital will be continued.
“We will establish sculptures. Sculptures are in different countries in the world including Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Egypt, Iran and Turkey and even in Pakistan,” he said.
The minister said the people of the Islamic countries do not talk about the sculptures.
“Idols are made for worshiping God. We are not worshipping sculptures of human being here,” he said.
He said the miscreants also carried out attack on sculpture of ‘Madhu Da’ in front of Madhu’s Canteen on Dhaka University campus.
Stern actions would be taken against those who will make such audacious acts, he added.
Mentioning that religion is very sensitive issue in Bangladesh, Quader said they would not take any sudden decision in this regard as they do not want any chaos.
The government wants to resolve the issue politically, he added.
Asked about filing of a case by a non-political organization over the vandalism of Bangabandhu sculpture, Quader said Bangabandhu is not of any political party, so it is positive thing that a non-political organization lodged the case. “We will not spare anyone if we find proper evidences,” he said.
The AL general secretary said they do not want to create any disorder or chaotic situation centering the sculpture issue rather they want to handle the situation with patience showing the logical ground.
Asked about whether the prime minister would respond to Hefazat and some other Islamic organizations’s call to meet her, Quader said he does not know that.
The prime minister will decide whether there is any scope to hold discussion or not, he added.
He said a movement was waged under the banner of Hefazat at Shapla Chattar but it did not last long.
He said now different social and cultural organizations are also staging protest against the anti-sculpture movement. “We should face such issues politically,” he said.
Asked about Hefazat’s relations with the government, the minister said there are 14 lac students in Qawmi madrasahs and they were not under mainstream education.
“We thought that their demand was logical to bring the students to mainstream education. So, we accepted their demand. It doesn’t mean that we compromised with them,” he said.
Hefezat is not any political party, so there is no scope to make any political compromise with them, he added.
He said investigation is underway to look into whether there is any link of BNP-Jamaat with the anti-sculpture movement and vandalism of Bangabandhu’s sculpture.