Hartal now 84-hr

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The opposition political combine has extended its 72-hour shutdown, slated to begin at 6:00am tomorrow, by 12 hours protesting the arrest of five including three top BNP leaders and raids at six others’ houses last night.

BNP joint secretary general Rizvi Ahmed made the announcement at a press conference at the party’s headquarters at Nayapaltan in the capital today.

“They (government) thought they would turn the nation deaf and dumb by arresting the leaders. But each and every arrest and torture would help raise the voice of others,” Rizvi said, strongly protesting last night’s police action.

He claimed that BNP leaders and activists were being arrested and killed and tortured in the name of police remand across the country.

“We, the senior ones at the leadership level, are feeling insecure,” he said terming the government as “killer”.

Police arrested BNP standing committee members Moudud Ahmed, MK Anwar and Rafiqul Islam Miah around 8:00pm hours shortly after the opposition alliance announced a 72-hour hartal demanding non-party polls-time government.

Detectives picked up the three arrests as the trio came out of Hotel Sonargaon attending the anniversary celebration of Bangla daily Prothom Alo.

Around five hours later, law enforcers detained BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia’s Adviser Abdul Awal Mintoo and Special Assistant Shimul Biswas outside her Gulshan-2 home around 1:10am. Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal Vice-President Anwar Hossain Tipu in front of Jatiya Press Club was arrested around 12:15am today.

Police last night also raided the homes of BNP leaders Jamiruddin Sircar, Mirza Abbas, Abdul Mannan and Goyeshwar Chandra Roy, Moazzem Hossain Alal, and Nasiruddin Ashim.

Addressing the press conference today, Rizvi Ahmed sought help from the human rights workers, lawyers and the media, saying, “Because we won’t get security from the government.”

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