Obaidul Quader sees BNP’s involvement in Zafar Iqbal attack

Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader.

Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader says the attack on Prof Muhammed Zafar Iqbal in Sylhet was a communal plot and that he suspects the BNP’s involvement in it.

“It is true the attack was part of a plot,” he said responding to a question from the media on Sunday. “The plot has been devised by those who patronise the BNP. It is clear who was involved and who instigated them. Those who create confusion through their words are not working for the country.”

Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader

Quader said the ‘culprits behind the scenes’ would be revealed by the investigation and the government would have no mercy on them.

BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir had condemned the attack on Prof Iqbal on Saturday. He also said he saw a conspiracy behind the attack and that it was organised by those who would take advantage of such a situation.

A man who was later identified as a madrasa student attacked Prof Iqbal with a knife from behind during an event at Sylhet’s Shahjalal University of Science and Technology on Saturday. He received injuries on his head, back and hand and was transferred to the CMH in Dhaka.

The attacker dubbed the famed writer as an ‘enemy of Islam’, saying he was attempting to kill him for this reason.

Road Transport and Bridges Minister Quader expressed his surprise at the confession prior to a party programme in Gulistan on Sunday.

“The attacker has been caught, but this is a cause for concern,” he said. “We were surprised by his confession.”

With the attack communalist forces are signalling that they are preparing even more horrifying attacks, Quader said. This is why the Mar 7 public rally is ‘extremely important’.

“We are getting signs that an evil power is attempting to create instability in the country.”

“The attacker accused Zafar Iqbal of making anti-Islam statements but I have never heard such things about him. I do not believe anyone in the country has heard such things.”

The prime minister supervised his treatment herself, said Quader.

“Those who cultivate the communal poison in our country are now attempting to attack progressive intellectuals in the name of religion. Similar attacks have occurred in the past. Zafar Iqbal is lucky to be alive.”

Quader said he had spoken with the home minister on the matter.

“I believe an evil force is behind this. They must be found and brought to justice. We cannot be negligent on this.”

Quader spoke to the media ahead of an Awami League leaflet distribution programme in Dhaka’s Gulistan ahead of the Mar 7 rally.