Police detained 64 leaders and activists of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and its associate organisations including Jubo Dal President Sayed Moazzem Hossain Alal on Saturday.
Raiding a house at Lalmatia in the capital, the law enforcers held them accusing they were planning to carry out sabotage during Sunday's hartal.
Contacted, Mohammadpur police station Officer-in-Charge Azizul Haque said, "Acting on information, we've raided the house and picked the BNP members up while they were holding a meeting. We had information that they were planning to conduct subversive activities during tomorrow's (Sunday) hartal."
"Of the detained leaders and activists, Alal has been handed over to the Detective Branch of Police while the others are now under police custody," Haque added.
Advocate Abdus Salam, Senior Vice President of Juba Dal, told The Daily Observer, "The arrested leaders and activists of Juba Dal came to discuss its foundation anniversary but the law forcing agencies nabbed them without any reason."
The Islamic parties have called a dawn-to-dusk countrywide hartal for Sunday demanding immediate arrest of former minister Abdul Latif Siddique. They also demanded maximum punishment for the politician as he hurt religious sentiments of the Muslims.
Mirza Fakrul Islam Alamgir, BNP's Acting Secretary General, in a written statement has protested and condemned the arrest of the BNP leaders and activists.
Terming the government a 'fascist and autocratic ruler,' the BNP leader said the government is arresting innocent people as it has no trust on the country-men.
Fakhrul Islam urged the government to release the arrested BNP leaders and activists immediately.
Meanwhile, Fakhrul Islam Alamgir at an inaugural ceremony of the ninth political workshop of BNP held at a city hotel on Saturday warned that it would be a mistake for the government if it considers BNP's repeated calls for dialogue as its weakness.
"Dialogue is the language of democracy. There's no room for violence in democratic practice. That's why we're repeatedly calling upon the government to engage in dialogue to resolve the ongoing political crisis in a peaceful manner. But there's no reason to treat it as our weakness," he said.
Terming BNP a liberal democratic party, he said they will realise their demand for holding a fresh election under a non-partisan administration through a peaceful democratic movement.
Accusing the government of pushing the country into a deep crisis by holding a lopsided election on January 5, Fakhrul said the government is not sincere to overcome the current crisis as it cannot understand people's pulse and the gravity of the problem."The government has imposed a one-party rule on the country's people by dashing their all hopes and inspirations. Awami League doesn't believe in democracy. It talks about democracy but establishes autocratic and fascist rule whenever it comes to power.