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5 February, 2018 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 5 February, 2018 01:29:21 AM
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BNP to remain on streets on Feb 8

500 activists arrested in 5 days, claims party
Staff Reporter

The BNP will take to the streets and organise peaceful rallies across the country on February 8 slated for delivering court verdict in Zia Orphanage Trust graft case against party chairperson Khaleda Zia. The decision was taken at a meeting of the party standing committee, the highest policymaking body of the BNP, held at party chief Khaleda Zia's Gulshan political office in the capital last night, according to meeting sources.

The hour-long meeting, chaired by Khaleda, began at 9:15pm. It was informed in the meeting that the former premier will hold a press conference on February 7, just a day before the court verdict, said meeting sources. The BNP policymakers also decided to face the post-verdict situation both legally and politically. In case the court verdict goes against the BNP chief, process would be initiative on the same day for filing appeal against the verdict, sources said.

The high level meeting approved the resolution adopted in Saturday's national executive committee meeting of the party. The meeting also discussed the latest development in the political arena, including mass arrest of party senior leaders and activists, and party strategies to deal with the situation.

Sources said, the meeting also held a discussed as to how the party activities will be run in case of any absence of the party chief. But the meeting was told that a decision in this regard would be taken later on, sources added. The BNP terms the graft case against party chief Khaleda Zia baseless and motivated one and says it would resist any conspiracy to keep Khaleda out of the election process. BNP leaders also suspect that the verdict might go against the party chairperson. The standing committee meeting was held a day after the party national executive committee meeting and a week after the previous meeting of the party policymakers.

Khaleda also held a series of parleys with senior party leaders and leaders of 20-party leaders during the last few days.

Meanwhile, several hundred BNP leaders and activists were arrested in the capital and elsewhere in the country during the past five days of, what the BNP claims, drive against their leaders and activists ahead of the verdict in the Zia orphanage trust graft case slated for February 8.

Among the arrestees, over 100 BNP leaders and activists were put on remand on different charges, according to party sources.

BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi yesterday claimed that law enforcers arrested over 500 leaders and activists over the past five days. Of them, 35 leaders had been arrested following Saturday’s national executive committee meeting in the city, he said.

Even though law enforcers have no exact figure of the arrested BNP leaders and activists, they said that the arrest drive was being carried out so that the BNP cannot create chaos across the country following the court verdict.

DMP Commissioner Asaduzzaman Mia, while visiting the Amar Ekushey Book Fair in the capital yesterday, however, told reports that about 200 people have so far been arrested over the recent attack on a prisons van and on the police.

Meanwhile, over 50 BNP leaders and activists were arrested from different parts of the country yesterday. Of them, 12, including the Kanchan (Narayanganj) pauro mayor Dewan Abul Bashar, were arrested from different areas in Narayanganj, three each from Munshiganj Sadar and Kashiyani of Goplaganj districts, two from Lohagora of Norail and one from Polashbari of Gaibandha district. Police arrested Harinakunda Upazila Parishad Chairman Advocate MA Majid from Jessore Airport yesterday night.

The police also also arrested 13 Jamaat-Shibir men from Sathia of Pabna on Saturday midnight.

Assistant inspector general (media and public relations) of police, Sahely Ferdous, told The Independent that the law enforcers took necessary steps to maintain law and order following the court verdict. “Each police unit will remain vigilant to avert any untoward incident,” she said.

Briefing reporters at the party’s central office, Rizvi said that the arrest drive against the BNP leaders and activists proved the desperation of the government.

He slammed the government for using law enforcers to carry out the drive. The government was tarnishing the image of police, he added.

Meanwhile, a large number of BNP leaders and activists are on the run to avoid being arrested. Many of them have even switched off their mobile phones.

The police drive began with the arrest of BNP standing committee member Dr Goyeshwar Chandra Roy, following Tuesday’s attack on police in the High Court area when BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia was returning from the special court at Bakhsibazar in the city.

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Concern grows over 
February 8 verdict Only three days are left for a trial court to deliver its verdict in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case in which BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia is an accused. Political analysts and commoners are apprehensive…

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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