Police have arrested at least 54 BNP leaders and activists on charges of hatching an anti-state conspiracy at a “secret meeting” at Dhaka’s Banani Club.
The law enforcers arrested the BNP loyalists -- all from Munshiganj’s Sirajdikhan and Sreenagar -- during a raid on the club on Monday. The suspects were taken to Banani Police Station after their arrest and moved to the DB headquarters afterwards. Police filed a case against them under the Anti-Terrorism Act.
The arrestees include Momin Ali, the former chairman of the Sreenagar union council, Delwar Hossain, general secretary of BNP’s Sreenagar unit and Awlad Hossain, former general secretary of BNP’s Sirajdikhan unit. Momin was a BNP candidate from the Munshiganj-1 constituency in the 2018 national election.
“They were making secret plans at the club for anti-state activities,” Banani Police Station chief Mostafizur Rahman said.
Kamruzzaman Ratan, member secretary of BNP’s Munshiganj district wing, however, rejected the allegation brought by the Banani police chief. He said the BNP leaders followed the rules.
“Is it possible to hold a secret meeting on anti-state propaganda at such an open venue?” he said.
BNP leaders said Momin, a member of the Banani Club, invited others to dinner with him before leaving the country for an Umrah, an Islamic pilgrimage to Makkah. Around 50 BNP leaders and activists from Munshiganj’s Sirajdikhan and Sreenagar Upazilas joined the event.
BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir condemned the arrest of BNP adherents, demanding their immediate release from prison.