I am not afraid of bullet, grenade: Sheikh Hasina


Dhaka : Stung by last month’s mutiny by the border guards whom she had addressed just a day prior to the uprising, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said she is “not afraid of a bullet or a grenade”.

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Her comments came even as the government heightened security at all key installations, including secretariat, Bangabhaban and the prime minister’s residence “in a pre-emptive measure against possible attack on important establishments to destabilise the government”.

“Talk is in the air following my recent comments – ‘a bunch of bullets chasing me’. But Hasina never cares… why should I be scared, the whole of Bangladesh is with me and my government,” she was quoted as saying by the United News of Bangladesh (UNB) Tuesday.

Hasina has resented the opposition charge that her personal security is a bogey. Opposition lawmaker Salahuddin Qader Chowdhury said in parliament earlier this month that if the country’s prime minister felt insecure, “ordinary people” would be worse off.

Hasina’s words sounded quite like her slain father, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. She utilised a discussion to mark Rahman’s 89th birth anniversary that fell Tuesday to vent her anger at her critics.

Her father, who led the freedom movement, was gunned down with most of his family members in August 1975.

Hasina herself has been targeted several times, allegedly by Islamist militants.

Mentioning the Aug 21, 2004 grenade attack on a rally she addressed and several other attacks on her, Sheikh Hasina said conspiracy was “still on to kill her and destroy democracy”, New Age newspaper said Wednesday.

Over 80 Bangladesh Army officers and their family members were killed in the Feb 25-26 revolt by troopers of the Bangladesh Rifles. The troopers mutinied over low wages and poor working conditions.