Senior Correspondent: Police on Thursday foiled a sit-in programme of the BNP, which they started peacefully in front of the Jatiya Press Club in the capital demanding release of its Chairperson Khaleda Zia from jail.
Several hundred BNP leaders and activists gathered in front of the Jatiya Press Club and started their programme around 11 am with party senior leaders joining it.
They chanted various slogans seeking Khaleda’s immediate release amid tight security.
As part of its countrywide scheduled programme, BNP arranged the programme in front of the Jatiya Press Club seeking Khaleda’s release from jail.
BNP’s district and city units are also scheduled to hold the programme across the country at their convenient time and venues.
When the party vice chairman AZM Jahid Hossain was addressing the programme around 11:47 am, plainclothes police swooped on Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal’s Dhaka north city unit president Mizanur Rahman Raju from the gathering, triggering a scuffle between law enforcers and BNP followers.
As BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakfrul Islam Alamgir and other senior leaders tried to save Raju from police, the law enforcers chased them and foiled the programme.
Talking to reporters before leaving the press club premises, Fakhrul said police foiled their peaceful programme without any provocation. “We strongly condemned and protest it.”
He demanded the government take action against those who foil their programme without any reason.
On Tuesday last, the party leaders and followers formed a human chain at the same venue demanding that Khaleda be released.
On Sunday, the party announced a two-day countrywide fresh programme, including the human chain and sit-in.
After the jailing of Khaleda, the party observed various peaceful programmes, including leaflet distribution, countrywide demonstration, human chain formation, sit-in, token hunger strike and protest procession, in five phases demanding her release.
On February 8, BNP chief Khaleda Zia was sent to jail after a court sentenced her to five years' imprisonment in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case.
risingbd/Dhaka/March 8, 2018/Reza/AI