BNP, allies' hartal in Gazipur progresses peacefully

BNP, allies’ hartal in Gazipur progresses peacefully


The daylong hartal called in Gazipur district for Saturday by the BNP-led 20-party alliance, protesting the imposition of section 144 by the local administration ahead of its scheduled rally, has been observed peacefully till the mid-day.
The 20-party alliance also declared a demonstration programme elsewhere in the country on the day.
Gazipur district BNP president Fazlul Haque Milon announced the shutdown programme at a press briefing around 9pm, after a meeting of BNP senior leaders with party chairperson Khaleda Zia in chair at her Gulshan political office.Addressing the press briefing, Milon said BNP announced the hartal programme in protest against the government’s undemocratic attitude exposed again with the imposition of section 144 ahead of the 20-party rally.
“The local administration has imposed the section 144 to foil our peaceful programme. We the 20-party alliance will enforce a dawn-to-dusk hartal in the entire Gazipur district protesting this undemocratic and unfair decision,” he added.
Later at the press briefing, BNP acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir announced the countrywide agitation, also protesting the imposition of section 144 in Gazipur.
He alleged that the current illegal regime using activists of Chhatra League unlawfully took over 20-party’s Saturday’s scheduled rally venue on Wednesday with the help of police in a bid to thwart their programme.
“As we declared that we would go to Gazipur and our leader (Khaleda) address the rally, the Gazipur police administration has imposed the section 144 on the entire district for an indefinite period in the afternoon. We strongly condemn it,” the BNP leader said.
Fakhrul said the government has gagged democracy by clamping the section 144. “We think by imposing such a motivated restriction, the government has deprived us of exercising our constitutional and democratic right to holding our rally and registering protests.”
He said the government is trying to suppress their opponents with repressive acts to prolong its illegal power.
Fakhrul said they will later announce their next course of action after the observance of Saturday’s programme.
Asked whether the BNP chief will go to Gazipur as per their earlier decision, he said after the announcement of the hartal this question is unnecessary.
Earlier, the BNP chief sat in an emergency meeting with senior BNP leaders, including its standing committee members, vice chairmen and top leaders of different associate bodies of the party, around 8:20pm to work out the party’s line of action in the wake of imposition of the section 144 in Gazipur.
Although Khaleda usually does not hold office on Friday, she came to her political office around 8:15am following the emerging political situation.
The BNP chairperson was scheduled to address the public rally on Bhawal Badre Alam Government College compound in Gazipur on Saturday.
BNP alleged that the law enforcers has arrested a number of their party activists in Gazipur centring the rally in the last a few days and Friday.
A day after his threat to hold rallies and put up barricade across the country if their Gazipur public meeting is obstructed, police arrested BNP standing committee member Gayeshwar Chandar Roy early Friday.
The district unit of Chhatra League on December 20 warned that they will not allow BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia to enter the district until Tarique Rahman apologises for calling Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman a ‘Razakar’, and the local administration imposed the ban.
Tarique at a recent programme in London termed Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman a ‘Razakar’ for banning Awami League in 1975. – UNB


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