The Motor Owners' Association of Rangpur has called a two-day transport strike ahead of the BNP's divisional rally there.
The strike – called to demand that local passenger vehicles and other three-wheelers be kept off the highways – would be observed from 6am on Friday to 6pm on Saturday, said the transport owners' association yesterday.
The BNP is scheduled to hold its fourth divisional rally in Rangpur on Saturday – in a series of such programmes announced on four key demands i.e. unconditional release party chief Khaleda Zia, holding upcoming national polls under a non-partisan caretaker government, controlling the rising prices of essentials, and ending the persecution of BNP men.
Mozammel Haque, president of Rangpur District Motor Owners' Association, on Thursday said his association and the Truck Owners' Association and the Car-Microbus Owners' Association jointly "agreed to go on strike if the demand is not met".
Meanwhile, anticipating such a strike, the leaders and activists of the BNP from different districts have already started to arrive in Rangpur.
On Wednesday, Barishal bus owners also called a two-day transport strike on 4-5 November demanding the same ahead of BNP's scheduled rally there on 5 November.
Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal said Rangpur transport owners and workers called the strike "because they are probably afraid of vandalism and arson attacks".
Fakrul responds to PM's remarks on reserves
In response to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's Thursday remark that no one chewed up the foreign exchange reserve and money from the reserve is being used for development activities, imports and the people's welfare, BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said the reserve money was "not chewed up but swallowed".
"I want to ask where the reserve money went. She [the prime minister] said the reserve money was not chewed. You did not chew it up, you swallowed it," Fakhrul said at a youth rally marking the 44th founding anniversary of Jatiyatabadi Jubo Dal at Naya Paltan of the capital on Thursday afternoon.
50 hurt as BNP men attacked in Bhola
A rally, marking the founding anniversary of Jatiyatabadi Jubo Dal – a BNP-affiliated youth wing, in Charfashan upazila of Bhola came under attack by the activists of Jubo League and Chhatra League – affiliated organisations of the ruling party.
The attack took place in front of former lawmaker Nazimuddin Alam's residence in Ward No 6 in Charfashan Municipality on Thursday morning.
Jubo Dal claimed that at least 50 of its leaders and activists were injured in the attack.
Ashraf Uddin, president of Charfashan Upazila Jubo Dal, alleged that policemen, deployed at the programme, did nothing to stop the attack and played the role of silent spectators.