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Thursday, January 08, 2015, Poush 25, 1421, Robiul Awal 16, 1436 Hijr

Nationwide blockade not paused, will continue, says BNP
Observer Online Desk
Published : Thursday, 8 January, 2015,  Time : 9:31 AM,  View Count : 51
The BNP has made it clear that its nationwide transport blockade will continue.

In a statement released around Wednesday midnight, Joint Secretary General Salahuddin Ahmed claimed the government was spreading 'propaganda' saying the indefinite blockade has been suspended.

He urged the people to not be confused and called forth the party leaders and activists to carry on with the programme.

Ahmed's call came amid a rumour that the BNP was going to suspend the blockade because of the Biswa Ijtema scheduled to begin on Friday.

Earlier in the day, the party's Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi had also announced that the blockade of highways, railways and waterways would continue until further notice.

In the statement, Ahmed said Khaleda asked the 20-Party coalition supporters to continue the blockade until further notice with the goal to ‘reclaim democracy and end the misrule’.

The BNP chairperson called the blockade on Jan 5 after failing to hold the party’s scheduled ‘Murder of Democracy Day’ rallies on the first anniversary of the 10th national election.

Khaleda has been virtually confined to her Gulshan office since Saturday night.

On Jan 5, four people were shot dead during violence between opposition supporters, ruling Awami League activists and police. Two more were killed the same way in Noakhali on Wednesday when blockade supporters clashed with police.

Ahmed said the party chief had mourned the deaths and prayed for those killed by the government forces and sympathised with the injured.

Though long-haul buses were grounded in the past three days, train stations, launch terminals and airports were operating on schedule.

Dhaka streets witnessed normal traffic on Wednesday, but devotees coming from across Bangladesh and abroad to attend the Biswa Ijtema faced troubles due to the blockade.

The former prime minister is still in her Gulshan office with the gates locked from outside.

Security forces are still deployed in front of the office with barricades set up at both ends of the streets leading to the building.

The BNP's Naya Paltan headquarters is also locked up. Ruhul Kabir Rizvi was 'picked up' from there by police four days ago and taken to a Dhaka hospital.

He sneaked out of the hospital in the early hours of Wednesday and later spoke to reporters at a Gulshan house at noon.

He claimed that police had used pepper spray targeting Khaleda in their efforts to prevent her from coming out of her office on Monday.

The BNP had earlier accused police of using the spray on its women front leaders accompanying Khaleda Monday, leaving the party chief sick.

Her Press Secretary Maruf Kamal Khan Tuesday said, after physicians saw her, that she was suffering from respiratory troubles.


Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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