The BNP has extended support to its key ally Jamaat-e-Islami's daylong countrywide shutdown, protesting against arrest of the Islamist party's top leaders.
So far, the shutdown has received lukewarm response with little to no report of violence coming in from the districts.
BNP Senior Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi announced his party's decision at a media briefing at the party's Naya Paltan headquarters on Thursday, nearly four hours after the shutdown began.
“We principally endorse the hartal enforced by Jamaat,” Rizvi said.
When asked if the BNP-led 20-party combine is in favour of the programme, he said: “The matter is yet to be discussed with the alliance leaders.”
Jamaat called the dawn-to-dusk shutdown on Tuesday protesting against the arrest and remand of its nine top leaders nabbed from a house in Dhaka’s Uttara on Monday evening.
A Dhaka court on Tuesday afternoon granted police permission to interrogate them for a total of 10 days in two cases filed under the Special Powers Act and Explosives Act.
Rizvi accused the government of arresting BNP-Jamaat activists, “even during peaceful programmes”, in a bid to spread fear and panic among the people.
“There is neither any movement or election, nor any (political) programme now but the government is suddenly arresting leaders of opposition parties to continue oppression and injustice,” he said.
The article was first published on Bangla Tribune