BNP in the early hours on Friday claimed that plainclothes police picked up its Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir and Standing Committee member Mirza Abbas from their homes in separate raids in the capital city.
BNP’s Media Cell member Sayrul Kabir Khan said that a team of Detective Branch (DB) of Police went to Fakhrul’s Uttara house at the dead of night and picked him up around 3:00 am.
He said another team of the DB police raided the house of Abbas at the same time and picked him up from his Shahjahanpur home in Dhaka.
Meanwhile, BNP standing committee member Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain condemned the detention of the two top party leaders and said it has once again exposed the government’s political vengeance.
Talking to UNB, he said their party’s decision about Saturday’s rally will be announced after a virtual meeting of the standing committee that was supposed to begin at 11:30am.
Talking to reporters on Friday morning, Fakhrul’s wife Rahat Ara Begum said four DB police members came upstairs of their house around 3am while som others were staying downstairs.
“I asked them the reason behind their arrival here at the dead of night. They said they came here to take him (Fakhrul) away as per the directives of the higher authorities,” she said.
Rahat Ara said as she asked them whether they had any Al warrant for his arrest, the law enforcers said he was accused in two or three fresh cases that were filed yesterday.
She said Fakhrul’s physical condition was not good and he took some medicines with him while he was picked up by the DB police.
Read more: BNP yet to decide venue for Dec 10 rally
“I was asleep when Abbas woke me up and said they (DB members) were going to take me with them and I couldn’t believe it at first,” said Mirza Abbas’s wife Afroza Abbas
They said they will return him after discussion ld with him, she said.
Afroza, also the president of Jatiyatabadi Mohila Dal, said Abbs returned home late night along with some BNP leaders after visiting two possible venues for their party’s Saturday’s rally.
As the BNP leaders, including Barkatullah Bulu, AZM Zahid Hossain and others who had a meeting with the DMP commissioner at night left Abbas’ house around 3am, Afroza said the DB members came to pick up her husband.
Earlier on Thursday night, a BNP delegation had a six-hour meeting with the DMP commissioner where they talked about holding the rally on Saturday (December 10) either at Kamalapur Stadium or Mirpur Bangla College ground.
Later, Abbas with some BNP leaders visited the two venues.
At that meeting, police authorities assured of reopening BNP office at Nayapaltan.
On Wednesday, a Swechchasebak Dal leader was killed and around 50 others were injured in a clash between police and the BNP activists in front of the party’s Nayapaltan central office ahead of its December 10 rally.
Following the clash, police raided the BNP office and arrested around 300 party leaders and activists from there.
While an understanding was reached apparently between the government and the BNP over the rally following the BNP leaders’ meeting with the DMP authorities, taking away of two top leaders of the party has manifested the government’s tough stance against BNP, which is desperate to reinforce its anti-government movement ahead of next general elections.
Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan has warned of tough action against any anarchy in the name of anti-government movement.
Talking to UNB, some BNP leaders expressed their fear that the government may arrest more senior party leaders to halt the planned rally on Saturday.
On Thursday, a Dhaka court sent 445 BNP leaders and activists to jail in two cases filed over Wednesday’s violence.
Party’s Senior Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi, Dhaka south city unit convener Abdus Salam and Publication Secretary Shahiduddin Chowdhury Annie were among the top leaders who were sent to jail, pending further legal procedures.