Friday, May 24, 2024

Mahbub, Selima, Milon arrested

Oppn extends hartal until 6:00pm today; 2 killed in violence
Three senior leaders of the BNP —the party chairperson’s adviser Khandaker Mahbub Hossain, its vice-chairman Selima Rahman and central leader Fazlul Haque Milon —were arrested from different areas of the capital yesterday. Following the arrests of Mahbub and Milon, the BNP-led 18-party alliance, which is enforcing a countrywide strike demanding cancellation of the 10th parliamentary poll and a fresh election, extended the hartal by 12 hours until 6pm today.
Selima, who made the announcement of hartal extension at a press briefing at her Gulshan residence yesterday evening, was also arrested soon after the briefing.
Earlier, Khandker Mahbub Hossain, also the vice-president of Bangladesh Bar Council, was picked up from the National Press Club area around 1:45pm.
Mahbub was detained when he was leaving the National Press Club premises after attending a discussion meeting, on the January 5 parliamentary polls, as the chief guest. The discussion was organised by Bangladesh Sammilita Peshajibi Parishad.
Another leader Milon was picked up from his city residence around 3pm.
Law enforcers also detained opposition chief whip Zainul Abedin Farroque, Ashraf Uddin Nizan, MP, Nazimuddin Ahmed, MP, and the party’s woman front leader Shirin Sultana from different parts of capital. They were, however, released later on.
Joint commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan police Mohammad Monirul Islam told The Independent, “All the arrested opposition leaders were brought to the Detective Branch Headquarters and they are accused in several cases during recent political turmoil ahead of 10th national polls.”
Earlier, Selima Rahman announcement the extension of hartal to protest the arrest of senior and central leaders of the opposition alliance.
The 18-party alliance also announced prayers at mosques and other religious institutions on Friday for those who were killed in poll-related violence. The alliance will hold local-level countrywide rallies on Saturday, along with the non-stop road-rail-waterway blockade programme.
During the briefing, Selima Rahman echoed the BNP chief Khaleda Zia urging supporters to remain alert, so that no one can launch any attack on the country’s religious minorities.
The BNP vice-chairperson said international authorities, such as the UN, the EU and the Commonwealth, and countries like the US and Canada have expressed their deep concern over the stage-managed election and urged the ruling Awami League to pave the path for an inclusive general poll. “No people at home and abroad are recognising the January 5 election as it was held without the participation of voters and the main opposition party,” she said.
Meanwhile, the second day of the countrywide 48-hour-long hartal and non-stop blockade programme, enforced by the BNP-led 18-Party Alliance, saw sporadic incidents of violence causing death of 2 people yesterday.
Shah Alam (36), the driver of a covered van, was killed and his assistant, Al-Amin (30), suffered severe burn injuries when a petrol bomb was hurled at his van at Jatrasiddi area on the Dhaka-Chittagong highway under Sadar upazila of Feni around 12:30am. The victims were sent to the Feni Sadar Hospital, where Alam was declared dead. Al-Amin was later shifted to the Dhaka Medical College and Hospital in a critical condition.
In Sirajganj, a man was killed and three others suffered burn injuries when blockaders hurled petrol bombs at a vegetable-laden truck on the highway in Panchlia area on the West side of the Bangabandhu Bridge in Sirajganj at about 8:30 pm.
Police and witnesses said, the truck carrying vegetables for Dhaka city markets was attacked by a group of blockaders when it reached Panchlia area. Blockaders hurled several petrol bombs at the vehicle that left one person killed on the spot and three others seriously burned. The injured were taken to the Sirajganj Sadar hospital, said police.
Supporters of the 18-Party Alliance brought out processions in different areas of Dhaka, including Baddad, Dakkhinkhan and Khilgaon. They engaged in sporadic clashes with law enforcers. Nine of them were injured, while eight people were picked up by the police.
Blockaders threw a patrol bomb and cocktails at the car of the officer in-charge (OC) of Pahartali police station in Chittagong, leaving a police constable injured in Sagarika Road area yesterday night.
According to sources, a group of blockaders numbering seven to eight hurled the bombs at the car of OC Azizur Rahman, but missed the target.
Police in retaliation fired several gunshots.
Police constable Pradip was injured in the incident. An attacker named Arafat was also received bullet injury in the firing. He was admitted to Chittagong Medical College Hospital.
In Pabna, a group of BNP and Jamat-e-Islami activists set fire to a covered van of SA Paribahan at Munnar More under Ishwardi upazila in the district. They also vandalised about 10 trucks.
Jamat-Shibir activists also set fire to two trucks at the Babulia area of Kadamtala-Boikari Road under Satkhira sadar upazila.
In Narayanganj, miscreants hurled a petrol bomb at the Sheikh Fazlul Haque Moni Smriti Sangsad office in Fatullah in the morning. The police recovered a bottle full of petrol from the area. Seven BNP-Jamaat activists were also arrested during an overnight drive.
In Chittagong, supporters of the 18-Party Alliance hurled crude bombs at a police van in Askardighirpar of the city. Later, six people were detained from Kazirdewri and nearby areas on suspicion of their involvement in picketing, said Nizamuddin, officer-in-charge (investigation) of Kotwali police station.
A group of Jamaat-Shibir members brought out a procession at Bakolia around 11am. They blasted three bombs in the area.
Some miscreants set fire to a truck on the Dhaka-Chittagong highway in Sitakunda upazila around 12:30pm. The police fired blank shots and allegedly beat the activists up for the incident. However, no one was arrested in this connection.
In Cox’s Bazar, at least 10 people, including policemen, were injured when Shibir activists clashed with the police at Eidgaon station under Sadar upazila around 1pm. Witnesses said a group of Shibir activists brought out a procession at the Eidgaon station area and hurled brickbats at the police.
The law enforcers retaliated by firing 18 rounds of blank shots and charged batons to disperse the activists. Six people were picked up from the spot.
In Gaibandha, supporters of the 18-Party Alliance vandalised at least 10 vehicles around 2pm. Witnesses said the picketers took up positions in different areas near Sathi cinema hall under Sadar upazila. The police fired rubber bullets to bring the situation under control, leaving six persons injured.

Courtesy of The Independent

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