March 12, 2013

Police stormed into BNP office - Countrywide daylong hartal today

A team of police led by ADC Mehedi Hasan stormed into BNP's central office and broke open the door of party secretary general’s room yesterday.

Police and members of other law enforcement agencies last evening stormed into the BNP central office at the city's Nayapaltan and broke into different rooms including breaking into the office room of the Party Secretary General using hammer.
The raid was unprecedented and lasted over two hours. They also arrested several senior leaders of the party who gathered at the office after attending a pre-scheduled 18-party rally in the front of the party office including Acting Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam and Joint Secretary Ruhul Kabir Rizvi Ahmed while putting other senior leaders on siege.
Later, police arrested BNP vice chairmen Sadeque Hossain Khoka and Altaf Hossain Chowdhury, chairperson's adviser Dr AZM Zahid Hossain, joint secretary generals Aman Ullah Aman, Ruhul Kabir Rizvi Ahmed and Mohammd Shahjahan and opposition chief whip Zainul Abdin Farroque from the party office and took them to DB office in Mintu Road.
Several female leaders, including BNP vice chairman Selima Rahman, were also under siege but later they emerged from confinement while police allowed them to leave the venue. Spot reports said at least 185 BNP and 18-party leaders and workers were arrested by police from the party office during the raid and search from room to room in the five storied building. During the drive, police also ransacked different rooms of the four-storied building.
Mehedi Hasan, additional deputy commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (Motijheel), told reporters that they searched the office and arrested the leaders and workers for creating an anarchic situation in the area. He, however, claimed 6 cocktails were seized from office.
Just hour before the raid, a pre-announced rally of the 18-party alliance in front of the Nayapaltan office ended in chaos which was triggered by explosions of some cocktails. Some 10-11 cocktails were blasted at 5:00 pm near the Nightingale intersection area, some yards from the venue of the rally, when Fakhrul began his speech. Within a minute, he declared the end of the rally after announcing the hartal programme.
Fakhrul alleged that the government had ordered police to unleash violence. “The government’s henchmen are attacking our peaceful rallies,” he said and urged the party faithful to stand against such moves. He further blamed the government for Monday’s explosions. “The government has done it,” he said before he was whisked away. He said the opposition will observe countrywide hartal Tuesday (today).
Sadeque Hossain Khoka said the government has already made the country into a ‘police state’ and wants to foil the movement of the people by using muscle power under the 'razakar' home minister Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir. He also said under the leadership of Khaleda Zia, people would topple the government through movement and compel them to arrange the next election under non-party caretaker government.
Meanwhile, Leader of the opposition Begum Khaleda Zia held an urgent  meeting of the party's apex body  to review the dramatic development last night at her Gulshan office, and demanded unconditional release of leaders and activists arrested from BNP's central office. Otherwise BNP and 18 party alliance will observe 48 hours of general strike countrywide on 18 & 19 March.
The alliance also reaffirmed today’s countrywide dawn-to-dusk hartal earlier called by Fakhrul before his arrest from the party central office.
Meanwhile, JAGPA chief Shafiul Alam Prodhan was also picked up while coming out after a meeting of the BNP-led 18-party alliance at BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia’s Gulshan office at night.

March 5, 2013

Death toll hits 125 in 5 days

The total death toll so far rose to about 125 in violence centering the verdict on Jamaat leader Delawar Hossain Sayedee on Thursday. Of those killed 113 were claimed to be Jamaat-Shibir men and also include 6 police men.

Hundreds of others including villagers received injuries from bullets in clashes between law enforcers and Jamaat-Shibir activists in atleast 18 districts countrywide.

The number of deaths and injuries were changing fast as reports of clashes and violence were pouring into the city from different places.

Bangladesh Today