Police keeps the central office of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party at Naya Paltan in Dhaka cordoned during a raid at the office, on Wednesday afternoon. – Sourav Lasker.
The police detained dozens of leaders and activists of the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party, including its senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi, during a raid at the party central office at Naya Paltan in Dhaka on Wednesday afternoon.
The police began raiding the BNP central office at about 4:15pm on Wednesday, minutes after a clash between the police and the main opposition party activists in front of the office. The clash left one dead and dozens injured, the police and BNP activists said.
BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam who arrived in front of the central office after beginning the raid said that the police were raiding the central office by keeping it locked and he was not allowed to enter into the office.
‘The government has created “an environment of fear”,’ he said and added that the police attacked the BNP leaders and activists in a bid to foil their December 10 Dhaka divisional rally.
He alleged that the police had entered into their office with bags full of explosives in a bid to stage drama of seizing explosive substances and implicate his party leaders and activists in the cases of explosive substances act.
Witnesses said that the police lobbed a tear gas shell at the party central office and then a team of police entered into the office at about 4:15pm.
They said that the police locked the gate of the main entrance of the building.
After about an hour, the police began to bring the party leaders and activists out of the office building and to detain them in prison vans.
The detained ones include BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi, said a police official and added that they were yet to count the number of the detained ones but the number might be ‘several dozens’.
Approached, none of the officials involved in the raid make any comment.
The raid was going on until 5:45pm.
The clash in front of the Naya Paltan central office of the BNP occupied and the raid at the BNP central office by the police happened ahead of the opposition’s December 10 Dhaka mass rally while the government and the opposition party were in a row over the venue.
The Awami League and the police are insisting the BNP to use Suhrawardy Udyan to hold the rally while the main opposition party is insisting to hold the rally in front of the party central office at Naya Paltan.
Witnesses said that the clash occurred when the police tried to drive away the BNP leaders and activists from near their party central office.