PM Sheikh Hasina urges high alert to foil plot against Padma Bridge opening

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday asked the security forces to be on alert saying that a quarter is trying to thwart the much-awaited inauguration of Padma Bridge on June 25.

“We’ve completed the work (Padma Bridge construction) throwing a big challenge. Those who opposed it have a target. We’ve got some information as well (in this regard). They will make such an incident to happen so that we can’t hold the inaugural ceremony on June 25,” she said, reports UNB.

The premier was addressing a programme marking the 36th founding anniversary of the Special Security Force (SSF) at her office in Dhaka.

She said when the World Bank stopped the funding to the Padma Bridge due to instigation from Dr Muhammad Yunus and his friend Hillary Clinton, her government announced that it would construct the bridge with own funding.

“At that time, many people thought that we could not do it. But we’ve done it,” said Hasina.

She asked the security forces, particularly the law enforcement agencies to be careful and ensure security to import structures (KPI ones) of the country ahead of the opening of the country’s largest multipurpose road-rail bridge.

She said the fire incidents have already been seen on train, launch and ferry in recent times.

Suspecting foul play in the recent fire at BM Container Depot, she wondered how the blaze could occur in several sites and not at a single place.

Noting that she saw a video footage of the train fire on Saturday, she said the fire started from the wheel. “How could it be possible? So, all these things are mysterious,” she said.

“So, I would like to ask all to remain alert, pay attention to our important establishments and ensure security to these,” said the PM.

Sheikh Hasina asked the SSF members to always maintain the firmness of character, discipline, honesty and other qualities alongside acquiring professional skills.

She also urged them to pay attention so that she would not be isolated from the people.

“We do politics for the people…. You’ve to ensure that we are not isolated from the people,” she added.

Hasina said her government has developed the country as ‘Digital Bangladesh’ and sent a satellite (Bangabandhu satellite) into space and introduced different digital systems.

The technology has opened the new door for socio-economic development, but it also has created scope for those who are engaged in terrorist activities to carry out their activities using the latest technology.

“The technology creates scopes for our socio-economic development, but the pattern of destructive activities changes due to the technology,” she said adding that keeping it in mind, her government has strengthened the SSF with the use of the latest technology so it could keep pace with the world.

Pointing to the chiefs of the three armed forces, police and other forces who were present at the function, Hasina asked them to continue to remain alert always against terrorism and militancy as some quarters are out to sabotages when the country get progress.

“We’ll have to remain conscious always. Keep it in mind whenever we go forward, some quarters try to make different types of incidents to happen. It is unfortunate for us,” she said.

In an oblique reference to the Gulshan Holey Artisan attack in 2016, the PM said every force — from intelligences to army, navy, air forces, police, Rab, Ansar and VDB, and BGB– has played an important role since the incident and thus the government has been able to curb the militancy and terrorism.

“We’ll have to contain terrorism and militancy. Our every force is still alert and conscious in this regard,” she added.

SSF Director General Major General Md. Majibur Rahman, on behalf of all members of his force, presented a memento to the prime minister on the occasion of the 36th founding anniversary of the elite force.

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