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Dhaka Tribune

BNP calls dawn-to-dusk hartal for May 2

Update : 28 Apr 2013, 02:50 AM

Paying no heed to the government’s urge not to have any political programme for 15 days for the Savar tragedy, the BNP-led 18-party opposition alliance on Saturday night called countrywide dawn-to-dusk hartal for May 2.

The left-leaning political parties had already announced a general strike for May 2 if its nine-point demands, including arrest of the owners of Rana Plaza in Savar and the garment factories, were not met by Sunday.

The opposition alliance will hold a public meeting on May 4 to drum up public support in favour of their demand for the restoration of the caretaker government system to oversee the next parliamentary elections.

It will also observe a “mourning day” on April 30 for the victims of the Savar building collapse, which left at least 355 people dead and more than 2,500 injured.

“The alliance has decided to call hartal for May 2 across the country, protesting the killing in Savar and the government’s failure to save people’s lives,” Moudud Ahmed, a member of the BNP standing committee, said at a press briefing at the party chairperson’s Gulshan office.

Referring to the left-leaning political parties’ hartal on the same day, Moudud said: “We had taken the decision earlier but they announced their programme before us. There is no suitable date before or after May 2.”

Moudud criticised the prime minister, the home minister and the state minister for home for making irresponsible comments on the Savar tragedy.

“We demand the resignation of the home minister,” he said.

The former minister also said: “We urge people of the country to observe a mourning day on April 30 and hoist black flags across the country to mourn the deaths at the Rana Plaza site and protest the government’s failure. We will also hold a mourning rally in the capital.”

The alliance has shifted their rally programme for at least three times on different grounds. It first decided to hold the rally on April 15. It then announced April 10 for the event but eventually postponed it as many senior leaders were sent to jail. Then the party decided to hold the rally on April 29; and now it decided to hold it on May 4.

Moudud said party Chairperson Khaleda Zia will be present in the public meeting.

An alliance leader said they finalised the programme keeping in mind Hefazat-e-Islam’s May 5 Dhaka-siege programme.

The BNP had held a meeting of its standing committee before sitting with the alliance partners.  

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