BNP sit-in ends before schedule amid police ‘attack’

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A few minutes before its scheduled closure, police on Thursday foiled BNP’s sit-in programme it arranged in front of the Jatiya Press Club in the capital demanding release of Khaleda Zia from jail.

BNP sit-in ends before schedule amid police ‘attack’

When party vice chairman AZM Jahid Hossain was addressing the programme around 11:47 am, plainclothes police swooped on Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal’s Dhaka north city unit president Mizanur Rahman Raj at the gathering, triggering a scuffle between the law enforcers and BNP followers.

As BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir and other senior leaders tried to save Raj from police, the law enforcers also engaged in a tussle with them and chased the party activists foiling the programme 13 minutes before its closure.

BNP sit-in ends before schedule amid police ‘attack’

BNP publicity affairs secretary Shaheeduddin Chowdgury Anee was seen repeatedly urging police not to thwart their programme and allow their party secretary general to conclude it with his brief speech, but police did not pay heed to it.

The law enforcers took away Raj from the clasp of Fakhrul and arrested him.

Talking to reporters before leaving the press club premises, Fakhrul said police foiled their peaceful programme without any provocation. “We strongly condemn and protest it.”

He demanded the government take action against those who foiled their programme without any reason.

Earlier, several hundred BNP leaders and activists gathered in front of the Jatiya Press Club and started their programme around 11 am with party senior leaders joining it.

They chanted various slogans seeking Khaleda’s immediate release amid presence of huge security personnel.

BNP standing committee member Moudud Ahmed, chairperson’s advisers Zainul Abedin Farroque Abdus Salam and some other leaders addressed the gathering.

Later, at a press conference at the party’s Nayapaltan central office, Fakhrul announced that their party leaders and activists will stage demonstration at all thanas in the capital on Saturday protesting law enforcers’ attack on the sit-in programme.
He said they were observing their sit-in programme in a peaceful manner, but law enforcers foiled it without any provocation.

As part of its countrywide scheduled programme, BNP arranged the programme in front of the Jatiya Press Club seeking Khaleda’s release.

BNP sit-in ends before schedule amid police ‘attack’

On Tuesday last, the party leaders and followers formed a human chain at the same venue demanding her release.

On Sunday, the party announced a two-day countrywide fresh programme, including the human chain and sit-in.

After the jailing of Khaleda, the party observed various peaceful programmes, including leaflet distribution, countrywide demonstration, human chain formation, sit-in, token hunger strike and protest procession, in five phases demanding her release.

On February 8, BNP chief Khaleda Zia was sent to jail after a court sentenced her to five years’ imprisonment in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case.

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