BNP Senior Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi on Tuesday alleged that the ruling party cadres were indulging in arson attacks and various subversive activities to malign the opposition’s ongoing movement.
Speaking at a virtual press briefing, he called upon the opposition leaders and workers to peacefully observe the nationwide 48-hour blockade that will be enforced at 6 am on Wednesday in protest against the national election schedule.
"The criminals belonging to Awami League are indulging in anarchy every day with the evil aim of establishing a reign of terror across the country under the patronage of the state. They've continued setting fire to public transport while law enforcers have been playing the role of silent spectators,” he said.
The BNP leader said the perpetrators of arson violence can easily run away from the scene after carrying out the incidents in the presence of law enforcement agencies or near police check posts.”
"The deliberate inaction of the law enforcement agencies to prevent these arson attacks or to arrest the real culprits proves that the evil forces in power are involved in the ongoing subversive activities across the country,” he said.
Rizvi said there is a good reason to believe that the ‘cadres’ of Awami League and the police personnel subservient to them are setting fire to vehicles with an ulterior motive.
He said several video footages went viral on social media and the statements of the drivers or the assistants of burnt vehicles clearly manifested how police or ruling party workers are responsible for arson attacks.
The BNP leader claimed that though the law enforcers caught red-handed some arson attackers, they released them later as they belonged to the ruling party.
"Hundreds of patrol teams of police or RAB and several hundred platoons of armed BGB members have been deployed all over the country. Besides, there are well-organised police patrols with heavy weapons. Bangladesh has now become a war zone. It’s ridiculous to claim that members of the opposition can carry out any kind of violence or arson attacks amid this full-fledged security system,” he observed.
Rizvi said it seems the purpose of the large presence of law enforcement forces may be to ensure the foolproof security of Awami cadres so that they can freely set fire to vehicles, cause damage to people's lives and property and play a role in creating a context of anarchy in the country.
He alleged that the Awami League has been using street violence as a means to make its political gains. “We condemn with hatred the nasty politics--of killing people, destroying people's resources and for putting the blame on the opposition party and repressing different parties and opinions in false cases--which the Awami League cherishes.”
Rizvi claimed that the police arrested over 475 leaders and activists of BNP and its associate bodies across the country in the last 24 hours as of 5pm on Tuesday.
BNP and like-minded parties on Monday announced the fresh road-rail-waterway blockade across the country starting from Wednesday morning to protest the schedule for the next national election announced by the Election Commission (EC).
Party Senior Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi came up with the announcement at a virtual press briefing.
It will be the sixth phase of the blockade programme of the opposition parties since October 31.
He said the blockade will begin at 6am on Wednesday and end at 6m on Friday.
Rizvi said the blockade is also meant for mounting pressure on the government to quit, hold the next election under a non-party neutral government and release party leaders and activists, including its secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.