BNP calls 36-hour strike
Published: 2013-04-07 11:32:48.0 BdST Updated: 2013-04-07 14:55:58.0 BdST
The BNP has called a 36-hour nationwide general strike from Apr 9 protesting against courts sending its top leaders including Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir to jail.
It said vehicles carrying medicine, dead bodies and newspaper and ambulances would remain out of the purview of shutdown.
Earlier, three Dhaka courts refused bail to top BNP leaders including its acting Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul and Moudud Ahmed in several cases and ordered them into jail after they had turned themselves in.
Two of the three cases were filed at Paltan Police Station and the other with Shahjahanpur police over clashes, vandalism and torching of vehicles on Mar 2.
The other leaders who landed in jail include Goyeshar Chandra Roy, Abdullah Al Noman, Amanullah Aman, Shahid Uddin Choudhury Annee and Jatiyatabadi Juba Dal President Moazzem Hossain Alal.
On Saturday, Hifazat-e Islam called a nationwide shutdown for Monday, BNP, however, has not lent support to that.
Ahmed said, “Our backs are against the wall. All of the top party leaders except myself are already behind bars.”
Among the Joint Secretaries General, only Ahmed and Barrister Mahbub Uddin Khokon are yet to be arrested.
“The government is trying to purge politics of opposition in this way.”
Over enforcing shutdowns amid the ongoing Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) examinations, he said,” We have called the 36-hour shutdown only after being left without no other option.”
Meanwhile, several vehicles were torched at different places in the capital as soon as the shutdown was called on Sunday. Police have blamed shutdown supporters for these incidents.
The BNP-led 18-Party alliance enforced shutdowns on Mar 12, 18, 27 and 28 demanding release of their leaders detained in Mar 11 police raid on their party headquarters. The eight leaders have been sent to jail before release of those leaders.
The demands for which the shutdowns are being called include withdrawal of ‘false’ cases against their party leaders and activists, an end to ‘genocide’, staging the next general strike under a non-partisan caretaker government and resignation of the Awami League-led government.
BNP leaders said Chairperson Khaleda Zia decided to enforce the shutdown on Monday during a meeting with Standing Committee members on Saturday night.
They said they were waiting for the court decision.
The BNP has been accusing the government of influencing the courts.
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