A Dhaka court has deferred the bail plea hearing of the BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir for tomorrow as the public prosecutor fell ill and requested to postpone the hearing.
The day, second of a 48-hour hartal, also saw 49 BNP men get sentenced to prison in old cases and opposition calling for another round of 48-hour blockade starting tomorrow.
Fakrul's bail hearing in the case filed over the attack on the chief justice's residence during the party's rally on 28 October was scheduled yesterday.
However, Abdullah Abu, metropolitan public prosecutor of Dhaka, said he was ill and requested to postpone the hearing. Then Fakhrul's lawyers requested for a date within this week.
In response, the court fixed 22 November for the hearing, the accused's lawyer told the media.
Dhaka first Additional Metropolitan Magistrate Foysal Atique Bin Quader passed the order.
The vandalism case was filed with Ramna police station against 59 leaders and activists of BNP, including its Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir following the opposition's rally on 28 October.
On 29 October morning, police first detained Mirza Fakhrul from his Gulshan residence after deadly clashes rocked parts of Dhaka the previous day. Around 10 hours after detaining him, police filed at least two cases against him.
49 BNP men sentenced
Meanwhile, another Dhaka court has sentenced BNP 49 leaders and activists to various terms of imprisonment in 2013-14 sabotage cases.
Magistrates Ataullah and Mohammad Sheikh Sadi of the Dhaka Chief Metropolitan Magistrate court delivered the verdict. They have been sentenced in four separate cases.
The party's Joint Secretary General Habib Un Nabi Khan Sohel, Information Affairs Secretary Azizul Bari Helal and Swechasebak Dal General Secretary Mir Sarafat Ali Sopu, and former Jubo Dal president Saiful Alam Nirob are among the sentenced.
Also, a Rangpur court has sentenced five BNP men to 10 years in jail in a subversion case.
'Jamaat denied justice'
As the court verdicts came out, BNP Senior Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi, in his immediate reaction, told The Business Standard, "The government has convicted them in false cases with an aim towards a one-sided election."
He said the government has initiated deceitful tactics to disqualify potential candidates of the BNP from participating in the forthcoming election by convicting them in false cases.
Later, in a virtual press briefing, the BNP leader said Jamaat was denied justice as the the Supreme Court upheld High Court verdict dismissing the Islamist party's registration.
He said, "Even though the country's people are not surprised by this verdict (against Jamaat), they're disappointed with the politically biassed statements and the incident of helping fulfil the wishes of the government by people involved with the judiciary, the last resort for justice,"
Rizvi said that more than 480 BNP men have been arrested in the last 24 hours. Moreover, around 14,000 leaders and activists have been arrested since BNP's 28 October rally. More than 314 cases have been filed, resulting in 15 deaths, including a journalist, and over 4,233 injuries.
The presence of public transport on Dhaka roads was nearly usual yesterday despite heightened tension and fear of violence on the second day of the countrywide 48-hour hartal, called by BNP, Jamaat and like-minded opposition parties, protesting the general election schedule.
However, a BRTC bus was torched in the capital's Mirpur-10 area at around 2:35pm.
According to the fire service, at least 16 incidents of arson were reported nationwide, where 18 vehicles were set on fire from 19 November 1am to Monday 9am.
A total of 235 platoons of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) and 460 patrol teams of Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) were deployed in Dhaka and elsewhere in the country to maintain law and order during the hartal.
Of the total units 145 were deployed in Dhaka, said a RAB media release.
The RAB is also escorting long-distance public transport and cargo transport to their destinations in different parts of the country.
Meanwhile, RAB arrested seven people in connection with vandalism and arson during the ongoing blockades and hartals.