BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir and party Standing Committee member Mirza Abbas have been officially arrested for inciting attacks on police and detonations of improvised explosives at Naya Paltan.
The two senior leaders were arrested early on Friday morning and underwent 10 hours of interrogation before the official arrests were made, Harun-or-Rashid, chief of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police Detective Branch, told the media.
“We will take them to court and show them both arrested in a case filed at Paltan Police Station,” he said.
Asked for further details, he said: “The charge against them is that they incited and planned barbaric attacks on police, including the throwing of cocktail bombs. We received this information after interrogating them.”
Police have restricted traffic on the road to the BNP headquarters in Naya Paltan since 7 am on Friday in an effort to ensure 'public safety and security', according to police officials. Barbed-wire barricades have been put up at the Nightingale and Fakirapul intersections to bar entry to the road. A long line of policemen stood guard outside the BNP office as dozens of armoured vehicles and prison vans dotted the otherwise deserted road.
Police initially blocked the road on Wednesday in the wake of a violent clash between law enforcers and BNP loyalists, who had gathered outside the party's central offices to prepare for a divisional rally on Dec 10. The clash led to the death of an activist.
Police later fired teargas shells and charged with batons to disperse the crowds as several rounds of crude bomb explosions rang out in the area.More than 50 policemen were injured in the clashes, DB chief Harun claimed.
A BNP delegation has told the media that the Dec 10 rally will be held at the Golambagh field.
The BNP has held divisional rallies across the nation as part of an attempt to mobilise anti-government opposition amid rising inflation and a power and dollar crisis ahead of next year’s general elections. Transport owners and workers have generally gone on strike in every division the BNP was holding a rally in what the party labelled as an attempt to minimise the size of their public gatherings.