16 leaders, activists arrested in Khulna ahead of today's sit-in protest: BNP
Law enforcement agencies on Friday night (31 March) arrested 16 leaders and activists of the BNP and its associate bodies from different areas of Khulna ahead of the party's sit-in programme on Saturday (1 April), local leaders said.
Khulna city unit convening committee's member Masud Khan Badal, No. 4 ward BNP Joint Convener Arman Sheikh, No. 11 ward Convener Nurul Huq, No. 15 ward Sewchhasebak Dal Convener Rubel Khandaker, City College Chattra Dal Joint Convener Rakbi Hossain and Jubo Dal leader Nur Islam were among the arrestees, a media release signed by city unit BNP Convener Advocate Shafiqul Alam Mona said this morning.
BNP leaders said the government had turned the country into a police state by arresting the leaders and activists of the BNP without warrants.
They (the government) are using law enforcement agencies as tools to oppress the opposition activists, said the media release.
As part of the ongoing simultaneous movement, the BNP, its associate bodies and like-minded parties will observe a two-hour sit-in protest in all divisional cities and district towns on Saturday to press home their 10-point demand, including holding the next general election under a non-party caretaker government.
The programme is also meant to register the party's protest against the rise in the prices of power, gas and essential items and the Awami League government's alleged all-pervading corruption.
BNP's Dhaka south and north city units will jointly stage the sit-in from 2pm-4pm in front of the Institution of Engineers in Dhaka.
The party leaders and activists will also observe a similar programme in all other cities and district towns at the same time.
Apart from BNP, Jatiyatabadi Samamona Jote, Gonoforum and People's Party, Peshajibi Ganatantrik Jote, 12-party alliance, Labour Party, Bam Ganatantrik Oikya and LDP will also observe the programme separately in different areas of the capital.
However, Ganotantra Mancha, which has long been observing programmes simultaneously, will not observe the sit-in on Saturday.
The leaders of Ganotantra Mancha said they have a scheduled meeting with BNP on Sunday and they will decide their next course of action through a discussion with the BNP leaders.
In December last year, BNP and like-minded parties and alliances started a simultaneous movement based on their common objective of ousting the present government and holding the next election under a non-party neutral government.
So far, they have arranged rallies, human chains, sit-ins and road march programmes in all unions, districts and divisional cities across the country to press home their 10-point demand.
Besides, the leaders and activists of BNP's Dhaka north and south city units observed the road march programme in five areas in the capital since 28 January.