The Bangladesh Nationalist Party on Monday reissued its warning that no election would be allowed to be held Keeping BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia in jail.
From human chains formed across the country, party leaders also demanded that the government must resign and polls-time neutral government must be formed before the announcement of the schedule for the 11th parliamentary polls likely to be held in December.
BNP formed one-hour human chains across the country for ‘unconditional’ release of Khaleda, jailed for five years in Zia Orphanage Trust graft case on February 8.
Police detained about 200 leaders and activists of BNP and its front and associate organisations and allies across the country, including over 100 in Dhaka city, on their way to and from the programme, BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi said at a briefing.
BNP assistant climate affairs secretary Mustafizur Rahman Babul, national executive committee member Abdul Matin and Labour Party’s Dhaka south unit joint general secretary Mahbubub Alam were among the people arrested in Dhaka, he said.
Police attacked and fired bullets on human chain in Gazipur.
Over 25 leaders and activists including late BNP standing committee member Hannan Shah’s son Shah Riazul Hannan and ward councillor Hannan Mia were arrested, Rizvi said, claiming that about 20 leaders and activists were injured in police firing and beating.
BNP is scheduled for Wednesday to hold countrywide two-hour token hunger strike from 10:00am for Khaleda’s release.
In Dhaka city, several thousand leaders and activists of BNP and its front and associate organisations gathered in front of the National Press Club well ahead of the beginning of the human chain at 11:00am.
Police were deployed at various points around the venue.
Addressing the human chain, BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said that all had to unite to remove the ‘monstrous’ government for establishing a people’s government through a free, fair and neutral election.
He reiterated the party’s demands for resignation of the government, dissolution of parliament, formation of polls-time neutral government and reconstitution of the Election Commission before the announcement of the election schedule, and deployment of army during the polls.
Demanding Khaleda’s release, Fakhrul said that no general election in the country would be acceptable to people keeping Khaleda in jail.
He said that the government turned into ‘terrorist’, saying that it was arresting opposition leaders and activists in false cases.
In recent days, cases were filed against over one lakh leaders and activists across the country and arrested about 12,000, Fakhrul alleged.
BNP standing committee member Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain said that no election would be allowed to be held keeping Khaleda in jail.
He asked the government to release ‘ailing’ Khaleda, saying that she would face law after getting cured.
Mosharraf asked the government to accept the party’s demands to avoid fall in people’s movement.
BNP leaders including Abdul Moyeen Khan, Nazrul Islam Khan, Barkatullah Bulu, AZM Zahid Hossain, Shamsuzzman Dudu, Amanullah Aman and BNP-led alliance leaders Fariduzzaman Farhad of NPP and Mustafizur Rahman Iran of Bangladesh Labour Party addressed the human chain.
New Age correspondent in Barishal reported that police obstructed district and city BNP from holding human chain on Sadar road. Later they held it in Awshini Hall square.
Human chain formed in the areas including Chittagong, Rajshahi and Khulna cities.