AL’s Obaidul Quader advises BNP to go for protests indoors

The BNP should opt for ‘indoor protests’ rather than creating public suffering with their demonstrations on the streets, says ruling Awami League’s General Secretary Obaidul Quader.

Published : 25 Feb 2018, 02:46 PM
Updated : 25 Feb 2018, 02:46 PM

His advice comes amid the BNP’s allegation that the administration was provoking its supporters during its peaceful protests after the police dispersed their protests on Saturday.

BNP chief Khaleda Zia has been jailed for five years after the court found her guilty of misappropriating foreign funds donated to an orphanage trust.

The 72-year-old three-time former prime minister is now being kept at the old jailhouse on Nazim Uddin Road, which the authorities described as a ‘special prison’.

Soon after Khaleda was convicted, the BNP announced a series of protests, as it viewed the court verdict as a politically motivated attempt to shut her out of elections.

File Photo

Rather than calling general strikes or road blockades, the party has gone for a series of demonstrations like sit-in and human-chain protests, processions, which it describes as ‘peaceful protests’.

Leaders of the ruling Awami League, however, have been saying the BNP is not capable of mounting any sort of agitation.

Following the crackdown on the BNP’s black-flag protests, Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir blamed the government of provoking their supporters.

Awami League leader Quader, however, said that was not the case.

“It’s you who are trying to turn the peaceful protests violent. No one is obstructing your protests. No rallies can be held on the streets leaving the people to suffer for hours,” said the road transport minister on Sunday.

“If you want to protest peacefully, then do it indoors, why on the streets?” he asked while speaking at a party event in Dhaka.

Referring to the BNP’s road, rail and waterway blockades in 2014 and 2015, the Awami League leader said those had plunged the country into an abyss of unrest.

Asked about Khaleda’s bail, Quader said the government had nothing to do with it.

“It’s entirely the court’s matter. We have nothing to do here, whether the higher court grants her bail or not,” said the AL general secretary.