While the whole nation is commemorating Shaheed Noor Hossain Day to pay tributes to the anti-autocracy activist on Saturday, former President HM Ershad said then anti-government forces ‘came up with several dead bodies only to spark agitation’ against him.
“You (opposition) came up with dead bodies as they were needed to spark demonstration,” Jatiya Party Chairman Ershad told a programme marking the “Ganatantra Dibash” (Democracy Day) at the capital’s Diploma Engineers Institution.
“Later, so many people like Noor Hossain were killed under democratic regime… at Gaibandha, Kansat, 21 Aug, Udichi conference. But we have no days after their names,” he added.
He said ‘such days’ would be observed in the future if his party was voted to power.
Describing his position on the issue of killing of Noor Hossain, Ershad said, “I went to meet Noor Hossain’s father after I was released from jail. I said I was sorry that your son had died.”
Awami League and BNP launched simultaneous agitation against the autocratic regime of Ershad in the 1980s.
Noor Hossain was killed when police fired on a pro-democracy procession, taken out during the anti-autocratic demonstration, near Zero Point in the city on Nov 10, 1987.
The Jubo League activist had a slogan ‘Swairachar Nipat Jak, Gonotantra Mukti Pak’ (Down with autocracy, let there be democracy) inscribed in white paint on his bare chest and back when a bullet pierced through his body.
The Zero Point has been renamed Noor Hossain Square ever since.
Later Ershad was forced to leave power on Dec 6, 1990 in the face of widespread agitation.
Since then the nation has been observing Nov 10 as the ‘Shaheed Noor Hossain Day’. However, Jatiya Party observes it as “Ganatantra Dibash” (Democracy Day).
Also on Saturday, Ershad said he would soon announce their decision to leave the Awami-led Grand Alliance from a rally in the capital.
Ershad said his party was ready to form the next government.