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Bangla police arrest top opposition leader for violent acts

Last Updated: Monday, December 10, 2012 - 20:55

Dhaka: Police on Monday arrested main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party`s (BNP) acting Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam on the charges of torching and damaging vehicles during a nationwide general strike that claimed three lives.

"We arrested him (Alamgir) in connection with yesterday`s violence in the city" when the BNP-led 18-party opposition alliance enforced a nationwide blockade over electoral system controversies that saw deaths of three people, Dhaka Metropolitan Police`s assistant commissioner S M Mehedi Hassan said.

Alamgir was taken to the Detective Branch office for interrogation as he was charged for the violence along with several thousand leaders and workers of the party during the eight-hour opposition blockade across the country.

BNP was yet to issue any statement on the arrest but party sources said plainclothesmen arrested Alamgir in the evening from the party`s central office downtown Purana Paltan office a day after he was sued for Sunday`s violence.

Earlier today at least 39 cases have been filed against several thousands of leaders and activists of the opposition, including Alamgir for their alleged involvement in violence.

Police said 164 "troublemakers" were arrested yesterday as they tried to enforce the blockade using force and frightening people while they also were trying to identify the killers of tailor Biswajit Das examining television footages.

The BNP-led alliance of former prime minister Khaleda Zia called for the nationwide daylong stoppage tomorrow at the National Standing Committee meeting of the BNP chaired by party chief Zia "to protest against the government attack and repression during the blockade programme and to demand non-party government (for election oversight)".

BNP and its allies including fundamentalist Jamaat-e-Islami are waging an anti-government campaign to restore a system of holding parliamentary elections under a non-party caretaker administration as the elections is slated for next year.

The government with its three fourths majority in parliament last year scraped the caretaker government provision through constitutional amendment for holding elections in 90 days, saying the elections must be held under political party run government.

But BNP and its 17 small allies feared the changed system would be used for stealing election results and said they would not take part in any future elections unless the system is restored.

The last caretaker government in 2007 was exposed to massive controversies for its alleged bias to BNP prompting intervention by the army amid an election standoff and intensified political tension.


First Published: Monday, December 10, 2012 - 20:54

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