- January 17, 2018
BNP calls hartals in separate districts protesting four deathsGrowing political tension culminated in a day of sporadic violence yesterday, which saw at least four people killed, party offices burned and scores of others injured across the country.
Although the January 5 programmes by political rivals Awami League and BNP were centred around Dhaka, the fatalities took place in three north-western districts: two deaths in Natore and one each in Rajshahi and Chapainawabganj. Protesting the deaths and arrests, local units of the BNP called hartals separately in Chittagong, Rajshahi, Chapainawabganj and Natore.
Once again “confined” and barred from joining a rally of the 20-party alliance, BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia yesterday announced a countrywide indefinite blockade of road, rail and waterways.
“The programme will continue until further notice. We will set the next course of action after the situation calms down. I will ask the 20-party alliance leaders and activists to carry on with the movement until our demand is fulfilled,” she said.
It was Khaleda’s ‘political mistake’ not to join the 10th general election, Hasina saidPrime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday advised BNP chief Khaleda Zia on how she could earn people’s trust and come to power in future, but for the moment she said Khaleda should focus on her party and leave the “path of violence.”
On a day of fear and uncertainty surrounding the January 5 political programmes, unending miseries had to be endured by passengers willing to enter or leave Dhaka or commute within the capital.
Although no political party had called a hartal yesterday, inter-district communication with Dhaka came to a near standstill with only the railway link staying open yesterday.
The state minister for home affairs described the measures as an effort to provide better security for the opposition politicianThe press corps and law enforcers readied themselves yesterday around 12 noon as news spread outside the BNP’s Gulshan office that its chairperson, Khaleda Zia, would finally emerge from the office where she had been confined.
Suddenly, three female police personnel strode up to the main gate of the BNP office and turned to face the street.
One of them, attempting to conceal her actions, locked the gate shut. At her side, the two other policewomen gave her cover.
‘Unlock the gate. I want to go to the Nayapaltan central office. Cooperate with me’On Saturday night, BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia decided to visit Ruhul Kabir Rizvi, the ailing joint secretary general who was at that time staying in the party’s Nayapaltan office. Around 10:30pm, she asked her personal aides to get ready to go to there.
‘Whenever we issue an order, we mention the section’Dhaka Metropolitan Police has clarified that no section 144 under the Code of Criminal Procedure was imposed in the capital. The DMP on Sunday imposed a ban on all kinds of meetings and procession sin the city from 5pm that day until further order.
The directive came as the Awami League and BNP announced rallies for yesterday.
‘We condemn the vandalising of the martyrs’ nameplate by the BNP men’At least five people were injured when supporters of both the ruling party and the opposition party locked into clash on the National Press Club premises yesterday centring presence of the BNP’s acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.
The incident took place while Mirza Fakhrul, after attending a program of Peshajibi Parishad at the press club premise, was going out around 3.30pm.
Police forces fired more than one hundred rounds of tear gas, shotgun and other firearm bullets to control the situationAt least 25 people, including 10 policemen, were injured in a clash between BNP-Jamaat 20-party alliance men and law enforcers at a rally in Chittagong city yesterday.
Police resisted BNP-Shibir activists who attempted to demonstrate beyond the permitted venue of the rally, the BNP office premises at Nasiman Bhaban, Chittagong Metropolitan Police (CMP) Assistant Commissioner (Kotwali circle) Shah Mohammad Abdur Rouf said.
Dr Kamal Hossain yesterday said the present political standoff should be overcomed through a national consensus and dialogue, not through street violence.
“We need to overcome this situation through an immediate national consensus and dialogue, not street violence,” he told a roundtable at the Jatiya Press Club.
Nagarik Oikya, a platform of civil society members, arranged the roundtable styled “The January 5 and Aftermath” on the occasion of the 1st
anniversary of the January 5 parliamentary elections that largely went uncontested.
BNP supporters attacked two photojournalists during a clash with police at Puthia upazila in Rajshahi yesterday.
Azahar Uddin, a photojournalist of the Dhaka Tribune, and Rayhan, a cameraman from Channel 24, were attacked around 4:45pm.
According to Azahar, he was returning home after taking some photos in Natore, where two people were killed in an Awami League-BNP clash.
Several leaders and activists of the Awami League were seen on some important roads with banners and festoonsThe ruling Awami League and its affiliates gathered at different spots of the capital to observe the “Victory Day of Democracy” yesterday and resist BNP’s counter programmes.
Several leaders and activists of the Awami League were also seen on some important roads with banners and festoons.
The Awami Swadhinota League brought out a procession in the morning to observe the first anniversary of the 10th parliamentary election, defying the ban on all political activities placed by Dhaka Metropolitan Police.
‘We’ve had discussions at the party forum that we’ll play an effective role as the opposition…we’ve decided to come out from the cabinet soon’Opposition leader Rawshan Ershad yesterday said Jatiya Party ministers will quit the cabinet soon so that the party can play an effective role as the opposition.
“We’ve had discussions at the party forum that we’ll play an effective role as the opposition…we’ve decided to come out from the cabinet soon,” she said replying to a question at a press conference at Parliament Media Centre.
‘Khaleda Zia is trying to establish unlawful militancy in the country nullifying democracy in the name of discussion’Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu yesterday said the January 5 polls had thwarted the conspiracy of forming unusual government that aimed to nullify the constitutional democratic process through militancy, vandalism and subversive activities.
The minister passed the remarks while talking to reporters at his secretariat office.
‘The government has taken steps to provide proper railway service whereas the BNP tried to destroy the sector’Two new trips for the Maitree Express, the sole cross-border train service between Bangladesh and India, was launched yesterday.
Railways Minister Md Mazibul Haque launched the two new runs, Dhaka-Kolkata and Kolkata-Dhaka, at the Cantonment Rail Station in the capital. Ministry Secretary Md Munsur Ali Sikder and Bangladesh Railway Director General Md Amzad Hossain were present at the event as well.
“The demand for the train service has been on the rise, so the governments of Bangladesh and India decided to expand the service,” the minister said.
Thousands of devotees, carrying banners inscribed with the ‘Kalema Taiyeba,’ joined the processions taken out in the city by the religious organisationsThe holy Eid-e-Miladunnabi, marking the birth and demise of Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh), was observed across the country yesterday with due reverence and religious fervour.
On this day in 570, the 12th day of Rabiul Awal of the Hijri calendar, Muhammad (pbuh) was born in Makkah of Saudi Arabia with divine blessings and messages of peace for mankind. He also passed away on the same day.
Different Islamic and socio-cultural organisations and political parties held various programmes, including milad mahfil, discussion meetings and Qurankhwani to mark the day.
Thousands of Syrians crossed the frontier on Sunday before the rules were implemented at midnightLebanon enforced new immigration controls at the Syrian border yesterday in a move to gain control of the steady stream of refugees from its much larger neighbour.
Shopkeepers and taxi drivers on the Lebanon side of the Masnaa border crossing said thousands of Syrians crossed the frontier on Sunday before the rules were implemented at midnight. Yesterday, the border was quiet.
A senior security official said on Saturday that Syrians would have to apply for entry permits for the first time and provide information about the purpose and length of their stay.
A former Tunisian interior minister has been nominated as prime minister to form a new government after an agreement among political parties in the newly elected parliament, congress speaker Mohamed Nacer said yesterday.
The nominee, Habib Essid, worked in the government of autocrat Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali but was also interior minister after the 2011 revolution that ended Ben Ali’s one-party rule and forced him into exile.
‘Since we are situated in a remote village, we urged the government to repair the road to the Ashram. A guest house in the area will also help attract more visitors’During the anti-British movement, people of the Indian Subcontinent set up numerous Gandhi Ashrams across the region to uphold and promote Mahatma Gandhi’s principles of non-violence and non-cooperation.
Being inspired by the movement, Nasir Uddin Sarkar of Jamalpur built a Gandhi Ashram in his village of Kapashatia. After being demolished and neglected for years, the Ashram was recently renovated with the addition of a museum to commemorate the history of Bangladesh’s liberation war.
Police said all of the charge sheeted accused are involved with the politics of Jamaat and the BNPThe Criminal Investigation Department has indicted at least 100 BNP and Jamaat men for their alleged involvement in the post-poll violence at Malopara under Abhoynagar upazila, Jessore on January 5.
At least 16 people were excluded from charge sheet as their involvement in the violence could not be proved during the preliminary investigation.
Investigation Officer Aminul Islam pressed the charge sheet after investigation.