20-party countrywide dawn to dusk hartal begins Monday

20-party countrywide dawn to dusk hartal begins Monday

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A countrywide daylong hartal called by the BNP amd its allies in protest against the ‘foiling’ of their scheduled Gazipur rally and to press the demand for the release of arrested senior leaders begins Monday morning.
The hartal that will begin at 6am and end at 6pm is also meant for registering protest against the arrest of the alliance leaders and the government dual policy in enforcing law.It will be the 20-party’s second hartal since the January-5 election as it enforced another shutdown programme on September 22 this year protesting the 16th constitutional amendment empowering parliament to remove Supreme Court judges for ‘misconduct’ and ‘incapacity’.
BNP acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir announced the fresh shutdown programme on Saturday after an emergency meeting of the secretaries general of the 20-party combine at BNP chief’s Gulshan office.
Fakhrul said vehicles carrying journalists, food shops, hotels, medicine shops and ambulances will remain out of the purview of the hartal programme.
Chittagong Lal Dighir Maidan will remain out of the hartal ambit because of Gausul Azam conference there.
The 20-party was scheduled to hold a rally at Bhawal Badre Alam Government College ground in Gazipur on Saturday as part of its countrywide mass campaign to mobilise public support in favour of their demand for holding a fresh inclusive election under a non-party administration. BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia was scheduled to address the rally.
But the rally was ‘foiled’ after the local administration imposed Section 144 on the rally venue as the ruling party men took over the college ground on the plea of not allowing the programme before BNP’s sr vice chairman Tarique withdrew his remarks against Bangabandhu.
The alliance enforced a dawn-to-dusk hartal in Gazipur and staged demonstrations across the country on Saturday protesting the ‘foiling’ of the rally.
Addressing a press beefing at BNP’s Nayapaltan central office on Sunday evening, BNP joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi alleged that the government was arresting and harassing their leaders and activists at random in the name of police raid ahead of the hartal.
He said over 150 opposition leaders and activists wee arrested by the law enforcers as of Sunday evening centring the shutdown programme.
Rizvi urged people to observe the hartal peacefully and make it a success braving all obstacles and instigations.
Earlier on Saturday night, police arrested Jubo Dal president Syed Moazzem Hossain Alal accusing him of planning to carry out subversive activities during the hartal.
Meanwhile, supporters of the 20-party brought out processions at different parts of city, including Mohakhali, Mirpur and Moghbazar, in support of the shutdown programme.
A large number of law enforcers took position in front of BNP’s Nayapaltan central office after two crude bombs went off in the area around 5:20pm.
The government deployed BGB in the city on Sunday ahead of the hartal. Officials said the government will also deploy huge law enforcers in the city from Monday morning to maintain law and order and check any untoward incident.
Talking to reporters at his secretariat office, State Minister for Home Affairs Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal said the law enforcers will take stern action if any one tries to carry out violence in the name of hartal.
BNP sources said the party has taken all-out preparations to make the general strike tight and asked every unit of BNP and its associate bodies and the 20-party alliance partners to take to the street in support of the hartal.
Meanwhile, six people, including three members of a family, were injured as hartal supporters allegedly set off crude bombs and petrol bombs in Mirpur and Dhaka University areas on Sunday evening, ahead of Monday’s countrywide dawn-to-dusk hartal to be enforced by the BNP-led 20-party alliance.
Besides, a government staff bus was torched and several vehicles were vandalised in the city’s Paltan, Kuril Bishaw Road, Uttara and Abdullahpur areas in the evening.
Hospital sources said Shamsun Nahar, 55, his son Tajibul Haque, 23, and daughter Anika, 18, were going to their Mirpur-7 residence by a CNG-run auto-rickshaw from Shantinagar in the evening.
When they reached Kazipara bus stand, pre-hartal pickets threw a petrol bomb at their three-wheeler at about 7:30pm, injuring the trio.
In another incident, two pedestrians — Sathi Akhter, 20, and Ruma Chowdhury –– were injured when several crude bombs were blasted at Shib Bari on Dhaka University campus at the same time.
Almost at the same time, 5-7 more crude bombs were exploded at the TSC of Dhaka University, injuring a rickshaw-puller known as Harun-ur-Rashid.
All of them were rushed to Dhaka Medical College Hospital.
Meanwhile, hartal supporters set fire to a staff bus of the Public Administration Ministry near Paltan crossing police outpost at about 6:30pm.
A firefighting unit went to the spot and doused the flame.
Besides, pre-hartal pickets staged demonstrations burning tyres on the street in Kuril Bishaw Road areas in the evening. – UNB

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