Khaleda Zia Verdict: BNP protests peacefully
12:00 AM, February 11, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 03:04 AM, February 11, 2018

BNP protests peacefully

Plans sit-in, hunger strike

Police picked up around 130 BNP men from several districts yesterday as the party continued its demonstration against the conviction of its chief Khaleda Zia in a corruption case.

However, no major incident of violence was reported anywhere in the country amid a tight security.

The BNP also said it will form human chains across the country tomorrow, sit-in programmes on Tuesday and hunger strikes on Thursday, demanding unconditional release of the party chairperson.

While announcing the programmes at BNP's Nayapaltan central office in the capital, party Senior Joint Secretary General Rizvi Ahmed said the case filed against Khaleda was “false and politically motivated”.

Earlier in the day, BNP men, led by some of the top leaders of the party, brought out a procession from House Building Lane area in Nayapaltan, chanting slogans calling for the release of Khaleda.

When the procession reached near Fakirapool area, police dispersed it by baton charge and chased the participants away, said witnesses.

The law enforcers arrested six BNP leaders and activists, including Nabiullah Nabi, from the areas nearby the party office, according to the BNP.

Khaleda landed in jail on Thursday after she was handed five-year imprisonment by a Dhaka court in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case. 

 The court also sentenced Khaleda's elder son and BNP Senior Vice Chairman Tarique Rahman, and four others to 10 years' rigorous imprisonment and slapped a fine of Tk 2.1 crore on each of them.

Talking to The Daily Star yesterday, Rezaul Masud, additional superintendent of police (headquarters), Chittagong, said they arrested

24 BNP and five Jamaat-e-Islami activists during overnight drives in different upazilas of the district.

In Brahmanbaria, 28 BNP men were held in separate raids. The party did not stage any demonstration in the district yesterday.

Six BNP men were held in raids in Thakurgaon. Around 20-25 leaders and activists of the party staged demonstration in front of the party office. However, the law enforcers did not allow them to bring out any procession.

Police arrested two BNP men when they tried to bring out a procession in Court Point and Jail Road areas in Sylhet.

Kurigram police arrested 35 people raiding different areas. Police said nine of them were BNP men and the rest were accused in various cases. 

Another 20 BNP and Jamaat men were arrested in different areas of Mymensingh. No demonstration was held in the district. 

In Pirojpur, police arrested five BNP men after they brought out a procession in Mathbaria town.

A policeman tackles a BNP activist after dispersing a procession the party activists brought out at Bijoynagar yesterday afternoon. Photo: Amran Hossain

Four BNP activists were picked up from a demonstration at Nazrul Islam Avenue in Comilla. The procession started from Trauma Hospital area around 1:30pm and was obstructed by the law enforcers near Ram Thakur Asrom area.

In Narayanganj, police arrested two BNP leaders -- Mamun Mahmud, general secretary of district BNP, and Shahid Ahmed, joint convener of Narayanganj Mohanagar Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal in two different areas.

In Chapainawabganj, around 30 BNP men joined a protest rally in front of their party office at Pathanpara.

Many other BNP leaders and activists were arrested elsewhere in the country.

More than 200 BNP men were arrested during the first day of the party's nationwide demonstration on Friday.

[Our correspondents in the districts contributed to this report]

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