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বাংলা
Dhaka Tribune

83-hour blockade from tomorrow

Update : 19 Dec 2013, 08:49 PM

For the fifth time in a month, the opposition BNP-led 18-party alliance has announced another nationwide rail, road and waterway blockade programme, this time stretching to 83 hours

from 6am tomorrow, demanding suspension of the election schedule and holding polls under a non-partisan government.

This blockade will continue until 5pm on Tuesday. The opposition announced the programme yesterday as its 72-hour blockade ends at 6am today.

“The government, on one hand, is staging drama of a farcical election, and on the other, increased repression on the opposition across the country.

“This cannot go on any longer. That is why we have no other option but continuing the movement,” Nazrul Islam Khan, Standing Committee member of the BNP, told reporters at the BNP chairperson’s Gulshan office.

He said the programme was announced keeping the Christmas on December 25 in mind.

Wishing to remain anonymous, a senior BNP leader told the Dhaka

Tribune that the blockade would be extended until Thursday after the Christmas.

With only two weeks left before the national elections scheduled for January 5, and with 154 candidates already elected uncontested, the opposition BNP believes there is no option left for them except to wage a movement for a credible election under a non-partisan government.

The opposition started enforcing prolonged blockades after the announcement of the election schedule on November 25.

Shipping Minister Shahjahan Khan announced that the government would take initiative to ensure uninterrupted vehicular movement on the highways during blockades.

Nazrul Islam said newsmen-carrying vehicles and ambulances would be out of the blockade’s purview. Vehicles of the UN and health departments would also be exempted for tomorrow because of the National Immunisation Day.

At the press briefing, the BNP leader said they believed the people would observe the blockade spontaneously for the greater good of the country.

Nazrul said only the suspension of the election schedule and elections under a non-partisan polls-time government would deter the people from the movement. “Adopting any strategy to mislead the people and using force will be futile,” he warned.  

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