BNP’s countrywide hartal call holds

The face-off between the Ganajagaran Manch and the Hefazate Islam was averted in Chittagong when the AL-supported Sahabagh activists called off their programme of rallies in Chittagong in the face of hartal called by the Hefazate Islam in a bit to resist what they termed as blasphemous bloggers.  Earlier the administration had imposed Section 144 as both sides vowed to push ahead with their programmes.The countrywide hartal called for 18 and 19 March however holds as most of the opposition leaders and workers arrested on Monday during and after hartal hours have not been released. Police set free BNP’s acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, Vice chairman Sadek Hossain Khoka, and Air Vice Marshal Altaf Hossain Chowdhury, but detained chief whip of the opposition Jainal bdin Faruk, joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi, central leaders Dr. Zahid Hossain, Amanullah Aman, Mohammad Shahjahan and Gagpa president Shafiul Alam Prodhan along with 148 others filing two cases against them. Police also sought 17-day remand for some of the leaders.

The BNP-led 18-party alliance has set Thursday as deadline for releasing the arrested leaders failing which countrywide hartal will be observed on 18 and 19 March.

A Dhaka court on Tuesday sent 154 detained leaders and activists of BNP to jail and fixed March 20 for remand hearing in two cases filed with Paltan Thana.
Magistrate Shahidul Islam passed the order on Tuesday afternoon when police produced them before the court with a total of 17-day remand plea.
Earlier in the day, police sued over 190 leaders and activists of the alliance on charges of attacking law enforcers and blasting bombs during a rally in front of BNP’s central office at Nayapaltan.
Police on Monday arrested over 200 opposition leaders, including BNP acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, during a two and a half hours’ raid at the party’s central office.
During the raid, law enforcers ‘recovered’ 12 homemade bombs from inside the BNP central office.

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