The BNP-led 18-party alliance on Saturday night called a countrywide daylong hartal for May 2 to register its protest against Savar tragedy.
BNP standing committee member made the announcement of the shutdown after two meetings of BNP standing committee members and top leaders of the 18-party opposition alliance at the BNP chairperson’s Gulshan office.
He said the hartal is also meant for pressing the government to immediately arrest those responsible for Rana Plaza tragedy in Savar, restoration of the caretaker government system, the release of top BNP leaders, protesting repression and oppression of the opposition leaders and activists and forcing the “failed, incompetent regime” to quit.
Rana Plaza, an eight-storey complex, collapsed on Wednesday morning leaving over 355 people killed and more than a thousand injured.
Moudud said, “The government’s massive failures and incompetence have been exposed in its handling of the disastrous Savar incident that caused huge loss of lives. We’re announcing our programmes, including hartal in protest against it.”
The 18-party will also stage a rally in the capital on May 4 on the same grounds. BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia will address the rally as the chief guest.
Besides, the alliance will observe mourning day on April 30 to protest the Savar building collapse. They will also bring out processions with black flags across the country on the same day.
Moudud said the 18-party alliance expressed deep shock over the deaths in the incident and conveyed sympathy to those injured.
He said the alliance also demanded that the government give Tk 20 lakh to the family members of each of those killed and injured in the building crash.
Terming the Savar tragedy a massive killing, the alliance held local ruling party MP Murad Jong and building owner and Jubo League leader Sohel Rana responsible for the incident, Moudud said.
“We think Rana had been able to flee the scene with the help of Murad Jong. We demand their immediate arrest and highest punishment.
The alliance also condemned the remarks of the Prime Minister and the Home Minister over the incident. “The 18-party demands removal of the Home Minister from the Cabinet for his imprudent comments,” the former law minister told reporters.
Khaleda Zia first sat with the BNP standing committee members and then with the top leaders of the BNP-led 18-party alliance.
She discussed with the party leaders and alliance partners the country’s overall political situation, the Savar tragedy, the recent killing of opposition leaders and activists across the country and torture and repression on them, the arrest of top BNP leaders and the next national election, and finalised the fresh action programme.
BNP standing committee members Dr RA Gani, Dr Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, Barrister Moudud Ahmed, Lt Gen (retd) Mahbubur Rahman, MK Anwar, Barrister Jamiruddin Sircar, ASM Hannan Shah, Dr Abdul Moyeen Khan, and Begum Sarwari Rahman attended the meeting held with Khaleda Zia in the chair.
LDP chief Colonel (retd) Oli Ahmed, Jamaat central leaders Abdul Halim, BJP chairman Andalib Rahman Partha, IOJ chairman Abdul Latif Nezami, Jagpa president Shafiul Alam Prodhan, NPP president Shawkat Hossain Nilu, Kalyan Party Chairman Maj Gen (retd) Syed Muhammad Ibrahim, and Labour Party president Mustafizur Rahman Iran were, among others, present at the meeting of the alliance, also held with Khaleda in the chair.