The BNP Chairperson visited the party office at Naya Paltan at around 5:53pm on Wednesday, two days after the arrest of her party leaders in a police raid there.
She also addressed the leaders and supporters who were gathered there.
The opposition chief said shutdowns will be enforced across the country on March 18 and 19 if the leaders who were arrested at the party office on Monday are not released.
Her announcement was greeted with loud cheers and slogans.
She termed the casualties during the recent violence as ‘genocide’ and said, “This genocide will be tried, a tribunal will be set up for it.”
“The Prime Minister cannot avoid responsibility herself. 170 died in the genocide.”
The BNP chief said the policemen who had fired into protesters will be tried once BNP returns to power.
She also said the suspected war criminals will be tried in line with ‘international standards’ once BNP is elected.
“The Home Minister himself is a Razakar, Awami League has many razakars too, they have to be caught, all starting from ‘the number one’.”
About the protesters at Shahbagh’s ‘Ganajagaran Mancha’ who are demanding death penalty for the war criminals, Khaleda said, “This government is firing on peaceful rallies on the one hand and harbouring ‘atheists and apostates’ by providing them with security on the other.”
“People will float a platform if all these manchas (platforms) and whatnot are not stopped,” said Khaleda Zia in her disapproval of ‘Ganajagaran Mancha’.
Khaleda’s security personnel during her visit had a tough time escorting her through the crowd from Kakrail’s Nightingale Intersection to the entrance to the office.
Acting Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir and Vice-Chairman Sadeque Hossain Khoka greeted the Chairperson at the entrance.
The BNP chief last visited the Naya Paltan office on April 23, 2011. Khaleda was there during a break from an executive committee meeting of the ‘Mahangar Natymancha’ she was attending and remained in the office for a little while.
She was in Naya Paltan last year to attend the rally of the 18-Party Alliance but did not enter the office.
The BNP chief usually holds meeting with party leaders at her political office in Gulshan.
Thousands of leaders and supporters gathered in front of the party headquarters to greet her.
The stretch from Nightingale intersection to the Fakirapool roundabout was filled with the party supporters. Police stopped movement of all vehicles on the Naya Paltan road from 2pm.
Several blasts took place at the BNP-led 18-party Alliance’s rally on March 11. Police entered the office building right after the explosions.
Police arrested top leaders of the BNP along with more than 200 leaders and activists and conducted raids in almost all the rooms of the office. Police said they ‘recovered’ ten crude bombs during their search.
Mirza Fakhrul and two other leaders were released on Tuesday but Paltan Police filed two cases accusing 154 BNP leaders and activists under the Speedy Trial Act and the Explosives Act. bdnews24.com