BNP acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir announced the shutdown programme from a rally organised by the opposition alliance in front of BNP’s Nayapaltan central office on Monday afternoon.
Witnesses said 8-10 crude bombs went off at about 5 pm in front of the BNP central office while Fakhrul was speaking at the rally.
Mehedi Hasan, additional deputy commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (Motijheel), alleged that BNP itself exploded the crude bombs to create grounds for calling a hartal.
He also said they showed enough patience although the BNP men beat policemen who were on the rooftop of its office.
The BNP-led 18-party alliance leaders at a meeting at the Gulshan office of the BNP chairperson Begum Khaleda cautioned that they would call hartal on March 16 and 17 if the arrested BNP leaders were not released within two days.
Police arrested Shafiul Alam Prodhan, president of JAGPA, component of the alliance when he came out of the meeting late in the night.
Meanwhile, the Hefazate Islam called hartal in Chittagong on Wednesday to resist the scheduled meetings of ‘Prajanma Chattar’ in the region on March 13 and 14. The administration on Monday night announced the clamping of section 144 in Chittagong to thwart the move. Different Islamist parties and groups have lent support to the hartal which they say is to stop the blasphemous bloggers of the Shahbagh movement.