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8 February, 2018 00:00 00 AM

AL, BNP ready to cross swords

Abu Jakir
AL, BNP ready to cross swords

The BNP is adamant to not let its chief go to jail; the Awami League (AL) is determined to foil any bid to “spark anarchy”. So, a face-off seems imminent today once the verdict in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case is delivered.

The BNP has apparently made all preparations to ensure a huge presence of its leaders and activists in Dhaka on D-Day. On the other hand, the AL is ready to not allow them on the streets.

In view of the ongoing arrests of BNP leaders and activists across the country ahead of the verdict, the situation is already very tense. The verdict is scheduled to be pronounced by the Dhaka special judge’s court-5 today.

BNP leaders said they will wage a tough movement against the government to prevent their chief Khaleda Zia from going to jail.

BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir warned at the party’s national executive committee meeting at Le Meridien Hotel on Saturday that they would go arrange countrywide demonstrations if Khaleda was convicted in the “false case”.

Many BNP leaders told this correspondent that the party high-ups have asked party leaders and activists to take up positions in different areas around the Bakshibazar special court today by “defying every obstacle”. They

said a movement will be launched at once if Khaleda is convicted.

However, at a press conference yesterday, Khaleda called upon her party leaders and workers to carry out a “peaceful movement” if she gets convicted in the “false graft case”.

Accusing the government of “hatching a plan” to keep her away from the next election and the people, Khaleda said: “I was implicated in a false case and a verdict will be announced against me today. I am ready to face every situation.”

Meanwhile, ruling Awami League (AL) General Secretary Obaidul Quader yesterday urged the people, who believe in the spirit of the Liberation War and democracy, to tackle BNP-Jmaat men if they try to create anarchy centring the graft case verdict on BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia.

Reiterating his call to the party leaders and activists to remain alert on the day of verdict, Quader said the BNP chief and the party itself do not respect the court, and that Khaleda has declared war against the court.

Quader, also the road transport and bridges minister, came up with the statement at a press briefing at AL President Sheikh Hasina’s Dhanmondi political office in the capital.

The press meet was organised to express AL reaction to the BNP chief’s press meet held earlier in the day.

The AL leader also alleged that Khaleda spread falsehood at her briefing and provoked its leaders and activists to occupy streets.

 “This may be the first instance in the country that someone held a press conference on the eve of a trial court verdict in a case,” he added.

A BNP standing committee member said the government will have to face tough agitation if Khaleda is convicted in the “politically motivated” case.

“I think the verdict against Khaleda Zia will be delivered on the basis of political consideration, simply to keep her out of the next polls. Our leaders and activists are prepared to go on protest in a democratic way,” he added.

The AL, on the other hand, will remain on high alert along with law enforcement agencies today to prevent BNP-Jamaat men from damaging public property.

Leaders and workers of the AL and its different front organisations, including its student wing Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL), will take up positions at 13 important points in the city and its entry points to tackle BNP leaders and workers.

 Apart from this, AL bosses have written to its 78 organisational districts, instructing its grassroots leaders to stay alert and bar the BNP from fomenting trouble.

AL general secretary Obaidul Quader said yesterday that the party leaders and workers will remain vigilant today and help law enforcers save lives and property.  “We will only help the police on the verdict day. We are in power; why will we spark anarchy in the country? Our main objective is to help the law enforcing agencies,” he claimed.

AL sources said party leaders and workers have been directed to be present at different important places in the city, including Bangabandhu Avenue, Jatrabari, Konapara, Demra, Donia, Shyampur, Azimpur, Shantinagar, Badda, Mirpur, Gabtoli, Farmgate, and other entry points, to the city to bar BNP activists.

Shahe Alam Murad, general secretary of the AL’s Dhaka South unit, said: “The AL has no plan to provoke or engage in any clash with BNP supporters. But we will stop them on the streets if they try to create mayhem.” Sadek Khan, general secretary of the AL’s Dhaka North unit, said: “We will make a concrete plan for our partymen so that they stay alert on the streets to thwart the BNP.”


More Front Page stories
Verdict on Khaleda today A special court in Dhaka will deliver its verdict in the much-talked- about Zia Orphanage Trust graft case, in which BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia, her son Tarique Rahman and four others are accused. On…

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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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