Charge against 148 leaders: Hearing March 28

ADhakacourt will decide on March 28 whether it will accept the charges against 148 leaders and activists of the BNP-led 18-party opposition alliance in connection with a case filed with Paltan police station under the Speedy Trial Act.

Counsel for the accused advocate Sanaullah Miah filed a petition before the court today (Monday) mentioning that police submitted a charge-sheet before the court against the opposition men but they did not produce them before it during the hearing.

As per the law, he said, there is no scope to accept the charge in absence of the accused.

Metropolitan Magistrate Shahriar Mahmud Adnan took cognisance of the petition and fixed March 28 for hearing on the charge-sheet acceptance.

Police on Sunday submitted a charge-sheet against 148 leaders of the BNP-led 18-party opposition alliance.

Sub-inspector Mahbubul Hasan, also investigation officer of the case, submitted the charge-sheet to the court of Metropolitan Magistrate Shahriar Mahmud Adnan.

The top opposition leaders whose names were included in the charge-sheet are Amanullah Aman, opposition chief whip Zainal Abedin Farroque, Jagpa president Shafiul Alam Prodhan, BNP joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi and BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia’s adviser Dr SM Zahid Hossain.

The names of six other opposition activists were dropped from the charge-sheet as their involvement was not proved during the investigation.

In the charge-sheet, it was alleged that the accused damaged a number of vehicles and blasted cocktails during a programme of the opposition alliance near BNP’s Nayapaltan central office on the afternoon of March 11.

They also beat up policemen, hurled cocktails on the law enforcers and tried to snatch arms from the policemen. When chased by police, the opposition activists entered the BNP central party office from where police recovered eight to ten cocktails in a raid, said the charge-sheet.

Paltan police on March 12 filed two cases against 154 leaders of the opposition alliance on charges of exploding bombs and preventing police from performing their official duties.

On March 11, police in a raid on BNP’s Nayapaltan central office arrested 185 of its leaders and workers, including acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir and joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi.

The law enforcers launched the drive in the BNP office after eight to ten crude bombs went off in front of the BNP central office while Fakhrul was addressing a rally there.

Three of the arrested leaders—Mirza Fakhrul, Sadek Hossain Khoka and Altaf Hossain Chowdhury—were released the following day.

On March 20, two courts in Dhaka placed 151 leaders of the opposition alliance on an eight-day police remand in the two cases. UNB

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