Reported on: May 17, 2012 08:28 AM
Reported in: National
Dhaka, May 17 (UNB) - The BNP-led 18-party alliance enforced a dawn-to-dusk hartal to press for unconditional release of the jailed top leaders of BNP and its allies is underway across the country today (Thursday).
The nationwide shutdown is also meant for pushing the government for the release of other BNP leaders, including Ruhul Kabir Rizvi and opposition leaders and workers, arrested since Tuesday.
BNP standing committee member Nazrul Islam Khan announced the hartal programme from an emergency press conference held at BNP’s Nayapaltan central office on Wednesday afternoon.
Earlier, thirty-three key leaders of the BNP-led 18-party alliances, including BNP acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, were sent to jail after a trial court here rejected their bail petitions in an arson attack case.
Reading out a written statement, Nazrul said the top leaders, made accused in the case of torching a bus, were not identified as the main accused -- neither in the FIR nor the charge sheet. “The four accused in the case were outside Dhaka during the incident,” he said.
Nazrul termed the order of the court as ‘unexpected and frustrating for justice seekers. He said they are ‘surprised’ over the court order sending the top leaders to jail rejecting their bail petitions.
He said the government has filed the false cases against the national leaders of the 18-party, including BNP, as part of a conspiracy to create a new issue to hush up the incident of ‘enforced’ disappearance of M Ilias Ali and divert people’s attention.
Almost all modes of vehicles, except rickshaws and a few CNG-run auto-rickshaws, stayed off the streets in the capital fearing vandalism. All educational institutions, business establishments, most shops and shopping malls in the city remained closed. But the government offices remained opened as usual.
Huge contingent of Rab and police have been deployed in different strategic points of the city from early in the morning to maintain law and order.