POST TIME: 10 February, 2018 00:00 00 AM
Khaleda conviction
BNP stages demo across country
Staff reporter

BNP stages demo 
across country

BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir joins party activists as they shout slogans and march along a street in Fakirarpool area of the capital yesterday to protest the conviction of party chief Khaleda Zia in a graft case. Inset, police in action on a processionist near the BNP central office at Paltan. photos Agencies

A day after BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia was awarded a five-year prison term in a graft case, leaders and activists of the party staged demonstrations in the capital and elsewhere in the country, demanding her immediate release. Hundreds of BNP leaders and activists assembled at the Naya Paltan area after Jumma prayer yesterday. Led by BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, a procession was brought out from the north gate of the Baitul Mukarram Mosque in front of the BNP’s central office.

The leaders who joined the procession included vice-chairman Md Shahjahan, vice-chairman Shamsuzzaman Dudu and Dhaka metropolitan south unit's general secretary Kazi Abul Bashar. However, some senior leaders, including the party's senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi, remained in the party office.

A large contingent of law enforcers, including members of the police, Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) and intelligence branches, were deployed on the streets to avoid any untoward incident.

The law enforcers followed the procession and tried to disperse the BNP activists when they reached the Nightingale intersection near the party headquarters at Naya Paltan. Some of the activists scampered to take shelter in nearby lanes, while others managed to reach the party office. As part of the party's two-day demonstration programme,  the BNP activists will also hold protest rallies today (Saturday) across the country.

In Rajshahi and Barisal cities, BNP supporters took to the streets in protest against Khaleda Zia’s conviction in the Zia Orphanage Trust case.

Meanwhile, the law enforcers have filed cases against 246 BNP men in Sylhet and Chittagong cities in connection with the clashes that had erupted after the court verdict on Thursday.

In Sylhet, law enforcers filed cases against 197 BNP and Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) activists following clashes in the Bandarbazar area on Thursday.

In Chittagong, two cases were filed against 49 BNP workers with Kotwali police station in connection with clashes in front of the party office on Thursday. One of the cases was filed under the Anti-Terrorism Act, while the other was filed for attacking the police, according to police sources.

At least 15 persons, including eight policemen, were injured in the clash near the party office in the city’s Kazir Dewri area.

Police also detained 15 BNP men, including Chittagong city unit president Dr Shahdat Hossain, from the city.

In Kushtia, law enforcers detained 27 BNP activists.

In Bagerhat, four leaders and activists of the Islami Chhatra Shibir, the student body of the Jamaat-e-Islami, were detained.