BNP calls hartal in Dhaka, 8 districts for Thursday

The BNP-led coalition will enforce a 24-hour shutdown in Dhaka City and a dawn-to-dusk general strike in nine districts on Thursday amid a crippling countrywide blockade.

The coalition called the lockdown in protest against cases against BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia, and arrest of its leaders and activists.

The alliance sent two statements on Wednesday announcing the shutdowns.

In the first statement issued in the afternoon, BNP’s Organising Secretary for Dhaka Division Fazlul Haque Milon announced the strike in eight districts of the division and five Upazilas of Dhaka district, excluding the capital city.

In an evening statement, he called the 24-hour shutdown in Dhaka metropolis.

The other districts are Gazipur, Manikganj, Munshiganj, Kishoreganj, Narayanganj, Narsinghdi, Tangail and Mymensingh.

The statements said the shutdowns were called also in protest against remanding BNP Acting Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir and ‘oppression’ of the alliance supporters.

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia, who is leading the anti-government agitation demanding a snap general election, called the nonstop blockade after being barred to rally on Jan 5, the first anniversary of the last general election.

Shutdowns are also being enforced to mount more pressure on the government to call the election under a nonpartisan administration.

At least 38 people have died in the 23 days of the violenct transport blockade.

The BNP chief has been accused in cases for ‘instigating’ arson attacks.

A court has permitted police to grill Fakhrul for three days in a case over vandalising a vehicle during the blockade.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, whose government oversaw the last general election, has ordered the police to stop violence during the blockade at ‘any cost’.

BNP and ruling Awami League have been trading charges over blockade violence.


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