The BNP has rejected Awami League General Secretary Syed Ashraful Islam’s demand for withdrawal of BNP Chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia’s recent statement about raids by the joint forces in Satkhira district and apology from her within 24 hours. The AL leader simply misunderstood the statement, the BNP said. Addressing a press conference on Wednesday, BNP acting Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said that Khaleda Zia did not say anything that harms the country’s image at home or abroad. Misconstruing the speech, Syed Ashraf just tried to confuse the people, raising false allegations against her, he said. The press conference was held at the party’s central office at Nayapaltan in the city. BNP standing committee member Goyeshwar Chandra Roy was present, among others. The AL general secretary on Tuesday said that Khaleda Zia ‘lied’ about the Satkhira raid. He claimed the BNP chief’s comment was tantamount to sedition and that lawful action would be taken against her if she did not withdraw the statement within 24 hours and seek apology. Referring to a newspaper report about a recent drive in Satkhira, Khaleda Zia at a rally in the city’s Suhrawardy Udyan on Monday said, “The houses of the inhabitants of Satkhira had been razed in such a way as if they were not the citizens of the country. No Bangladeshi can do this. Nobody can say that joint forces only conducted Satkhira operation. People have doubts.” Mirza Fakhrul said, “I don’t know how Syed Ashraf demanded withdrawal of the part of the speech and apology from her. Perhaps, he did not minutely listen to the speech Khaleda Zia delivered on Monday.” Referring to the Januray-5 election, he said, the AL had suffered moral defeat in the election. For this reason, it has not stopped torture of the leaders and workers of the BNP and other parties. They are harassing senior leaders of the BNP in false cases, he added. He claimed that a total of 294 supporters of the BNP-led 18-party alliance were killed in the last 3 months in clashes and raids by joint forces while 187 people went into missing. Among the victim of killing, 227 are the BNP while 67 are the leaders and workers of Jamaat and other parties. According to him, 101 were killed in Chittagong division, 3 in Sylhet, 40 in Rajshahi, 50 in Khulna, 5 in Barisal, 13 in Dhaka and 15 in Rangpur division. The BNP leader claimed at least 10 died in extra-judicial killings in the last 10 days. He blamed the government for the extra judicial killings and the large scale of abductions. He called upon global human rights groups to probe the incidents He alleged that the government has taken up the politics of vengeance by killing and kidnapping opposition supporters. The police had thrown a huge cordon around it and prevented party leaders and supporters from going in, h he said. The government, he said, has apparently brought back BAKSAL in a new shape. He said the government controls the state machinery fully, including the administration and judiciary, he added.