Blockade continues to bleed the nation

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The countrywide indefinite transport blockade, enforced by the BNP-led 20-party alliance entered  into the  second  month  on Thursday, alongside the 108-hour nationwide hartal, sponsored by the alliance as part of its movement for restoring democracy and people’s voting right.
However,  the  number  of  deaths  in violence  and  police firing  continued  to  rise  with  a  large scale  arrest   in country-wide   raids  by   joint-forces  .   A  large number of law enforcers,  comprising  regular  police, armed battalion , ansar, RAB  and  BGB  remained deployed in different parts of the capital to fend off  trouble.

Case against Khaleda
Meanwhile,  police have filed two cases over Tuesday’s bus arson in Comilla and formally accused BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia of ‘instigating’ the fire-bombing that left 7 people dead.
Former Comilla MP and central Jamaat-e-Islami leader Syed Abdullah Mohammad Taher has been also accused in the case.
Choudyagram Police Station’s Sub-Inspector Nur Uz Zaman filed the cases— one under the Explosive Act and the other pertaining to murder — on Tuesday night.
A total of 56 BNP and Jamaat activist have been accused in both cases while another 15 to 20 unidentified people have been named, said Choudyagram police OC Uttam Chakravarty.
Seven passengers died on the spot when they were trapped inside the bus which caught fire after the bombing at Choudyagram Upazlia early on Tuesday. 16 others were injured, 11 of them burnt.
Bomb attack and arson on vehicles during BNP-sponsored countrywide blockade since Jan 5 have claimed over 50 lives.
BNP chief Khaleda Zia has been already named as the instigator in two incidents of arsons, including the one at Dhaka’s Jatrabarhi, which left one dead and 30 others injured.

Cables  disconnected at Gulshan office
BNP on Wednesday slammed the government for not restoring cable, internet, telephone and fax connections to its chairperson’s Gulshan office and urged local and international rights bodies to focus on the issue.
The party also called upon the UN human rights organisation to take justified steps to this end.
In a statement, BNP joint secretary general Salahuddin Ahmed said, “We’ve repeatedly urged them to restore all communication connections, including telephone, fax, internet, broadband and cable ones, to the BNP chairperson’s Gulshan office, but this dumb regime didn’t pay heed to it.”
He further said, “We call upon all the national and international human rights organisations, institutions and human rights activists to project the scenario of the Gulshan office before the world after visiting it and, observing and realising the condition prevailing there.”
Terming Awami League a ‘peddler of Liberation War spirit’, the BNP leader alleged that the current ‘illegal’ government has destroyed all the achievements and aspirations of the Independence War.
He said the history of Awami League is the history of usurping state power through ‘constitutional coup’.  “Democracy, human and basic rights, judiciary, parliament and overall all state machineries have become hostage in the hands of this government,” Salahuddin observed.
He said there is no alternative to ousting this democracy ‘annihilator’ government through a non-stop movement.
The BNP leader alleged that law enforcers are mentally torturing senior BNP leaders, including its acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir and joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi, after taking them on remand in false cases one after another.
He also denounced the arrest of two former BNP MPs, Ashrafuddin Nizan and Nazimuddin Ahmed, and demanded the government release them immediately.

Source: Weekly Holiday

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