Police on Saturday raided BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia’s Gulshan office, searching for “anti-state documents.”
However, law enforcement officials said they found nothing during the two-hour search that started at 7:30am.
About a hundred police officers, led by Police Deputy Commissioner (Gulshan Zone) Mustak Ahmed, converged at the office around 7am, and started the search half an hour later.
According to sources from the BNP office, police raided all of the rooms except Khaleda’s.
BNP Senior Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi criticised the raid, claiming that it was aimed at “harassing Khaleda Zia mentally and keeping her under pressure.”
However, Gulshan police station Officer-in-Charge Abu Bakar Siddique said they had received information that “anti-state materials” were kept at the Gulshan office.
He said police had taken the court’s permission to look for these anti-state documents and materials that could be used to conduct acts of sabotage. The general diary regarding the matter was filed on Friday at 7:30pm.
Attempts to contact Police Headquarters for further details have yielded no response.
BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said the raid was “an attempt to destroy Bangladesh’s democracy.”
After the raid, BNP’s central leaders went to Khaleda’s office with several hundred supporters. From 10:30am to noon, party supporters held protests and sit-in programmes in front of the building.
BNP standing committee members Nazrul Islam Khan, Gayashor Chandra Roy, party leader Zaynul Abedin, and Mohammad Shajahan were in attendance, among others.
Later on Saturday, at Dhaka Reporter’s Unity, Rizvi announced that BNP and its front organisations would hold countrywide demonstrations today.
Meanwhile, Chittagong BNP on Saturday brought out a procession protesting the raid. The procession started from the Tejgaon area and ended at the Kazir Dewri intersection of the city.
Dr Shahadat Hossain, president of Chittagong BNP, said: “The raid was an evil conspiracy against BNP. However, the leaders and activists of BNP across the country will resist the undemocratic activities of the ruling government.”