Five top BNP leaders sent to eight-day police remand

Five top leaders of Bangladesh`s main opposition BNP were on Thursday sent to eight-day police remand.

Dhaka: Five top leaders of Bangladesh`s main opposition BNP were on Thursday sent to eight-day police remand for attempted murder of policemen and instigating violence here during a series of recent anti-government protests.

Metropolitan Magistrate of Dhaka Rezaul Karim granted the remand, rejecting their bail petitions of the five leaders, including advisor to Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) chief Begum Khaleda Zia, Abdul Awal Mintoo, and her personal assistant, Shimul Biswas.

The other three leaders - Moudud Ahmed, MK Anwar, Rafiqul Islam Mia - are BNP Standing Committee Members.

The leaders were sent to five-day remand in "attempted murder of cops" case filed on November 6 while three-day remand was granted for them in the case filed on September 24 for "creating violence" in the capital.

The BNP-led alliance called for a series of shutdowns beginning from October 27 to mount pressure on the ruling Awami League for the restoration of a neutral caretaker government system to oversee the general elections scheduled to be held by January 25, 2014.

To protest the arrest of its five leaders on November 9, the BNP extended the duration of a nationwide shutdown from 72 to 84 hours on November 10.

The BNP today said the remand of its leaders was "vindictive" and demanded their immediate release.

"The government has used the court to send our five top leaders into police remand," Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi said in an emergency press briefing.

"This is just an exhibition of the government`s vindictive and dirty game," Rizvi was quoted as saying by bdnews24.Com.

According to the November 6 case statement, opposition leaders blocked a road at Kamalapur Bazar in Dhaka and blasted several crude bombs targeting law enforcers on the hartal day on November 5.

The other case statement said BNP men brought out a procession on September 24 protesting submission of a charge sheet against four Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal leaders, including its president.

The investigation officers submitted the remand prayers on November 9 but the court on the same day sent the arrestees to jail and fixed Thursday for hearing the prayers.

Moudud, Anwar and Rafiqul were detained from in front of Hotel Sonargaon in the capital while the two others were detained outside Zia`s residence.

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