The Bangladesh Nationalist Party on Friday set the release of its jailed chairperson Khaelda Zia as the prime precondition for the next general elections likely to be held in December.
People would allow holding of no general elections keeping Khaleda in prison, BNP policymakers warned at a rally in front of the central party office at Kakrail in Dhaka.
Presiding over the rally, BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir also announced other preconditions including resignation of the government, dissolution of parliament, reconstitution of the Election Commission and deployment of army during the polls.
The rally was organised as part of the party’s protest rallies in metropolitan cities and district and upazila headquarters across the country for unconditional release and proper medical treatment of Khaleda and release of all political prisoners.
Leaders and activists of the party from different parts of Dhaka city and adjacent districts gathered at the venue from about 2:00pm with processions.
Additional police forces were deployed around the venue. Armoured Personnel Carrier and police water cannon vehicles were placed near the spot.
Khaleda was jailed for five years in a graft case by a Dhaka special judge’s court on February 8 and sent to old Dhaka central jail in Dhaka.
Fakhrul alleged that said the government did not want participatory elections particularly the participation of BNP knowing that the ruling Awami League would not get even 20 seats in the 11th parliamentary polls.
Fakhrul congratulated the newly formed Left Democratic Alliance, a combine of eight leftist political parties, for focusing the conditions for holing fair elections.
He expressed hope that other political parties would unite people from their respective positions to forge
national unity to get rid of present ‘misrule’ and establish peoples’ rights.
BNP standing committee member Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain said that no election would be held under prime minister Sheikh Hasina and Awami League.
He warned that this time people would not sit idle if the government again attempted to hold a ‘farcical’ election like January 2014.
Another standing committee member Moudud Ahmed said that days were coming near that BNP would seek no more permission for holding rally, saying they would decide for the rally and inform it to law enforcers.
He demanded that a level playing field for all political parties for a meaningful general election must be ensured immediately.
Standing committee member Goyeshwar Chandra Roy said that no more election would be held under the present government.
BNP leaders Mirza Abbas, Abdul Moyeen Khan, Amanullah Aman, AZM Zahid Hossain, Ruhul Kabir Rizvi, Zainul Abdin Farrooq, Abul Khaer Bhuiyan and Syed Moazzem Hossain Alal addressed the rally.
New Age correspondent in Noakhali reported that at least 12 BNP leaders and activists were injured as police charged baton on a BNP procession at Sudharam in the district.
BNP activists alleged that Juba League leaders and activists first attacked them as the procession reached in front of Noakhali Press Club at about 5:00pm.
Noakhali BNP general secretary Abdur Rahman said that Juba League activists attacked the procession in presence of police.
Later police charged baton and fire bullets leaving 12 injured, he said.
Among the injured activists, Kabirhat upazila’s Dhansiri union Juba Dall president Sohag was admitted to a local clinic while Rajib, Zakir, Sahadat, Mahmudul, Rashed, Sazib, Jabed, Nazim, Rahat, Biplob and Rony sustained minor injuries.
Inspector (investigation) of Sudharam police station Shahed Uddin denied the allegation of firing.
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