The BNP has threatened new, tougher street agitation if the arrested leaders of the party are not released in the next 24 hours.
The party’s Acting Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir told reporters about the party’s decision after a meeting of its policymakers on Tuesday night.
“The National Standing Committee demands release of the arrested leaders and activists by Wednesday. Otherwise, we will declare tougher programmes as soon as possible.”
But the BNP spokesperson would not enlarge on the nature of the programmes.
However, according to the itinerary and schedule of party chief Khaleda Zia, the party would not enforce any programmes like general strike before Mar 26, the Independence Day.
The BNP is also set to enforce a dawn-to-dusk shutdown in five Upazilas of Dhaka district on Thursday if the leaders are not released by Wednesday. But the Dhaka metropolitan has been spared of the strike.
Khaleda met the party’s policymakers after her party-sponsored 36-hour nationwide shutdown came to an end on Tuesday.
She had declined on Mar 16 to offer a dialogue with the government and warned of tougher protests like shutdowns and blockades if the coalition government that the Awami League headed did not step down.
“There’s no point in talking to them (the government). Either they will go, or more shutdowns and blockades will be announced,” she had said.
Mirza Fakhrul on Tuesday night briefed the press on her upcoming tour and programme schedule.
The BNP chief will go to Bogra on Mar 22 and Joypurhat on the following day. She will visit Bogra’s Shahjahanpur on her way back from Joypurhat.
She will pay her respects at the National Memorial at Savar on early Mar 26 and later at 8pm at the grave of late President and BNP founder Ziaur Rahman at the capital’s Sher-e-Bangla Nagar.
The party will also hold a discussion at the Institution of Engineers, Bangladesh on Mar 25, Fakhrul added.
The Standing Committee members Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, Moudud Ahmed, M Shamsul Islam, Mahbubur Rahman, MK Anwar, ASM Hannan Shah, Mohammad Jamiruddin Sircar, Abdul Moyeen Khan, Sarowari Rahman, Mirza Abbas and Gayeshwar Chandra Roy also attended the meeting at Khaleda’s Gulshan office.