Khaleda's Gulshan office

Continue blockade – Khaleda: Police unlocks main gate

Accusing the government of trying to confuse people by carrying out a false campaign that the 20-party’s blockade programme is going to be postponed, BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia has called upon all to continue it without any pause.
“Besieged Khaleda Zia has urged the country’s people and the leaders and activists of BNP and the 20-party alliance to continue the blockade programme until further announcement to put an end to the current misrule and restore obliterated democracy,” said a party statement.The statement signed by BNP joint secretary general Salauddin Ahmed was issued on Wednesday late night.
Earlier, BNP joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi at a press briefing also ruled out the possibility of withdrawing the ongoing blockade programme on the eve of Biswa Ijtema at Tongi, saying the programme will continue.
Having failed to come out of her political office from her confinement to join a scheduled rally of her alliance in front of her party’s Nayapaltan office to mark ‘Democracy Killing Day’, the BNP chairperson enforced a countrywide non-stop blockade from Tuesday.
At least seven people have been killed since Monday at different parts of the country during clashes between opposition activists and police and ruling party men.
In the statement, Khaleda prayed for salvation of the departed souls of those killed by police and ruling party men and conveyed deep sympathy to those oppressed, injured and affected and tortured during the movement.
BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia remained confined to her Gulshan office for the 6th day on Thursday as huge law enforcers were seen deployed in front of the office main gate which however was unlocked around noon.
The BNP chairperson was kept confined to her office since Saturday night as she threatened to hold mass rallies in Dhaka to mark ‘Democracy Killing Day’ on January 5, the first anniversary of the last parliamentary polls that her BNP and its allies boycotted.
Water cannons, police vans and trucks were kept indiscriminately on both sides of the road in front of her office while huge law enforcers, including female and plainclothes ones, have remained deployed around it.
The road-no 86 in Gulshan-2 has also been made off limit to traffic and public movement as the law enforcers are requesting people to use alternative roads.
The main gate of the office has been locked by the law enforcers and no one except the BNP chief’s security personnel, Khaleda’s close relatives and prominent citizens is allowed to enter it.
BNP vice chairman Selima Rahman, BNP chief’s press secretary Maruf Kamal Khan, special assistant Shamsur Rahman Shimul Biswas and some Mohila Dal leaders have also been staying in the office since Saturday night.
Khaleda was not allowed to come out of the office on Monday when she tried to go to her party’s Nayapaltan central office to hold a rally protesting the January-5 polls held a year back.
Khaleda fell sick ‘due to the impact of pepper spray’ police used on Monday on the premises of her Gulshan political office.
When aggrieved BNP leaders and activists started hitting the BNP chief’s office gate in an apparent bid to open it as police barred Khaleda from coming out, police used pepper spray towards them. Khaleda was sitting in her car. Some journalists and female BNP leaders fell ill as a result.
Later, police used the same spray when Khaleda was talking to reporters standing on a bench. Before the second-time spray Khaleda was already caughing as she talked under the impact of the first spray. – UNB