Police have produced BNP Standing Committee member Gayeshwar Chandra Roy and Executive Committee member Onindo Islam Omit before a court in Dhaka yesterday, with the former's bail petition having been rejected.
They were produced before the court yesterday around 3:15pm, confirmed Ramna police station acting Officer-in-charge Moinul Islam, adding that they were shown arrested in a case filed with the station.
Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate Md Mahumdul Hassan rejected the bail petition filed by Gayeshwar and sent him to jail.
Ramna police station Inspector Saiful Islam, also investigation officer in the case, produced a total of 38 accused before the court, including Gayeshwar and Omit, asking for a 10-day remand for each. The court granted two days of remand for 36 of the accused, with Gayeshwar sent to jail and another of the accused being interrogated separately for age and health complications.
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A further 18 people who were also arrested were placed on two-day remand in connection with a case filed with Shahbagh police station.
Detectives picked up Omit, an assistant organizing secretary of the party’s Central Executive Committee, from Shantinagar on Tuesday midnight. On the same night around 10pm, police detained Gayeshwar, a member of the party’s Presidium, while he was returning home following a meeting at BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia’ Gulshan office.
Speaking to the Dhaka Tribune, Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) Commissioner Asaduzzaman Miah said Gayeshwar was arrested on “specific” charges.
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Their detention came hours after the party’s activists and leaders attacked law enforcement officials and snatched two of their peers from police custody near the High Court when Khaleda appeared before a special court in Bakshibazar area for the ongoing trial of the Zia Charitable Trust graft case.
They also broke two police rifles when law enforcement officials tried to resist the demonstrators, according to police.
While addressing an emergency press briefing following their arrests, BNP Senior Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi said: “Gayeshwar has been arrested at a time when people are taking preparation to resist the government conspiracy against our leader Khaleda Zia.
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“He has been arrested as part of a dangerous and evil design of the government.”
The BNP leader said the government already instructed police to arrest their party leaders and activists as a last resort to stay in power.
Rizvi warned that the government would not be able to spread panic among BNP men across the country by arresting them.
He also alleged that they have information that police started raiding the house of Swechchhasebak Dal President Shafiul Bari Babu at midnight.
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Meanwhile, regarding an incident on Tuesday when BNP activists allegedly snatched two of the party’s supporters from a prison van after attacking police, BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said the assault was conducted by “infiltrators” unknown to the party.
“We are protesting peacefully and trying to engage peaceful politics. The government is trying to disrupt it intentionally and trying to keep the BNP away from the upcoming election,” he added during a press conference at BNP’s Nayapaltan’s party office on Wednesday.
On Sunday, Gayeshwar warned that their party would go on an outright movement to oust the government if party chief Khaleda was “unlawfully” convicted in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case, the verdict of which is scheduled to be delivered on February 8.
“Do you [government] think we will only shed tears if you send Khaleda Zia to jail? We won’t cry. Rather, we will ensure your fall before her release,” he said while addressing a discussion at National Press Club.
Sections of this article were first published on banglatribune.com