“There’s propaganda of arresting our leader Khaleda Zia. The government is spearheading the campaign. I want to ask the government not to take such terrible and catastrophic move for the sake of maintaining peace, stability and economic progress in the country,” said BNP chairperson’s adviser Shamsuzzam Dudu.
He was addressing a press briefing on the 36-hour nationwide hartal of the BNP-led 18-party alliance at BNP’s Nayapaltan central office.
The shutdown, enforced by the opposition alliance, ended at 6pm on Wednesday amid clashes and crude bomb blasts at various places across the country.
The opposition alliance enforced the shutdown at 6am on Tuesday to realise its various demands, including the release of its arrested leaders and activists.
Addressing the briefing, Dudu said the government is carrying out such propaganda to demoralise the opposition. “But it won’t work. We together with people will resist the misdeeds of the government and foil its master plan to hang onto power for ever.”
The BNP leader said people will take their ongoing movement to its desired goal and force the government to arrange the next general election under a non-party caretaker government no matter what efforts the government makes to foil it.
He alleged that the government has turned the whole country into a jail and said, “We all are under virtual house arrest. Those who are in jails are in specific areas and those we’re outside also in smaller spaces.”
Dudu said the hartal was observed across the country with people’s spontaneous participation.
He claimed that police arrested over 170 opposition activists across the country during the hartal hours on Wednesday, while more than 276 injured in attacks by law enforcers and ‘ruling party cadres’. “Besides, some 570 BNP men were implicated in the false cases.”
Asked whether BNP will extend its support to Thursday’s hartal to be enforced by Islami-Chhatra Shibir, the BNP leader said the party policymakers will decide on it at its meeting at night. “As of now, BNP is neither lending support to it nor opposing it.”
BNP assistant office secretaries Abdul Latif Jony and agriculturist Shamimur Rahman Shamim were present at the briefing.