BNP acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Saturday called upon people to make the March 18-19 countrywide shutdowns called by the 18-party opposition alliance successful.
The BNP leader made the call at a press briefing at the party’s Nayapaltan central office in the capital.
Referring to his party’s earlier decision, Mirza Fakhrul said “The govt didn’t pay any heed to our demands. So, the hartals which were announced earlier will be enforced,”
Accusing the government of taking up policy to suppress the opposition, he said “In the last 22 days, innumerable (opposition) leaders and activists were arrested. Over 140 people were shot dead. 25,000 opposition leaders and activists were implicated in different cases.”
He went on “Apart from this, police is carrying out combing operation to arrest the opposition leaders and activists and forcing them to leave their houses.”
The BNP leader also condemned the repressive activities of the government.
Criticizing Home Minister Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir for his remark that he would control the opposition with an iron fist, the opposition spokesperson said “I would like to tell Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir that it’s not a democratic language rather an autocratic one.”
BNP leaders Iqbal Hasan Mahmud Tuku, Sultan Salauddin Tuku, Salauddin Ahmed and Abdul Latif Jony, among others, were present.
On Monday, Police raided the BNP office and arrested over 150 leaders and activists of BNP, including its acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, vice chairmen Sadeque Hossain Khoka, Altaf Hossain Chowdhury, opposition Chief Whip Zainul Abedin Farroque, BNP joint secretaries general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi and Amanullah Aman.
Later in the day, BNP standing committee members following an emergency meeting threatened to enforce countrywide hartals on March 18 and 19 if their arrested leaders are not released and valuables ‘looted’ from BNP’s Nayapaltan central office not returned by Thursday.
However, three of the BNP leaders — Fakhrul, Khoka and Altaf Hossain Chowdhury — were released on Tuesday keeping all others behind the bars.
On Wednesday, BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia addressing an unscheduled gathering of party activists in front of its Nayapaltan office renewed their threat that if the detained leaders and activists were not released by Thursday the 18-party would enforce all-out hartals.