ঢাকাসোমবার, ৪ঠা মার্চ, ২০২৪ খ্রিস্টাব্দ

The opposition has called for a new 48-hour blockade to begin today.

Newsdesk I Ctgpost
নভেম্বর ১২, ২০২৩ ১:০২ অপরাহ্ণ
Link Copied!

The fourth round of blockade enforced by the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party and its allies begins this morning amid arrests, intimidation, attacks, and night-time raids on the houses of leaders and activists of opposition parties.

The parties and alliances, including the Jamaat-e-Islami, Liberal Democratic Party, Ganatantra Mancha, Gono Odhiker Parishad, and Amar Bangladesh Party, have called for the 48-hour blockade to realise their one-point demand for the resignation of the Awami League government.

The opposition parties have enforced three spells of such a blockade since October 30, following a one-day dawn-to-dusk hartal on October 28, protesting the attack by police and ruling party people on the BNP’s October 28 grand rally in Dhaka.

BNP leaders said that the opposition camp would continue such a blockade programme until the Election Commission announces the schedule for the next general election.

The EC is preparing to hold the 12th parliamentary election in the first or second week of January, and the poll schedule is likely to be announced this week.

Speaking about the EC’s move to announce the poll schedule, BNP standing committee member Abdul Moyeen Khan said in a statement on Saturday that the government was no longer able to fool anyone at home and abroad.

He said that in 2024, the lantern of ‘alternate democracy’ has already blown and the internal gas has stopped working. It is not 2014 or 2018.

‘If the election schedule is announced at this moment, it will prove again that the Awami League government does not believe in democratic ideals but wants to rule the country by running a one-party steamroller,’ he said.

He also said that the ruling party might be thinking that they could pass the election this time by playing a one-sided drama like in the past, and a home-grown opposition party will then stage make-believe parliamentary drama.

‘Everyone at home and abroad has seen that the absurdity of one-sided elections has begun as opposition parties have been  suppressed and members of their organisations at all levels have been arrested. It can be used to run a monarchy, but not a democracy,’ he said.

Besides, addressing a virtual press conference, BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi urged party leaders and activists to enforce the blockade programme peacefully.

‘Our blockade programme is a peaceful agitation against the misrule of the government and to realize our one-point demand. The ruling party forces—the Chhatra League and Juba League—are making violence and torching vehicles to shift the blame on BNP,’ he said.

He said that there was much evidence that activists of the ruling party were involved in setting fire to vehicles during the blockade programmes.

According to the fire service, defence control room, and police, over 100 incidents of arson attacks on vehicles have taken place in the past 13 days across the country.

Of them, police said that at least 64 buses were torched in the capital, Dhaka.

At the press conference, Rizvi warned that everyone involved in the misdeeds, including the disappearance and torture of BNP leaders, would be held accountable.

‘We all live in one country, speak the same language, and practice the same culture. We know everyone who is missing, despairing, and torturing our activists. Those who are doing these inhumane acts will not get any exemption. Each of them will be made accountable,’ he said.

Complaining that the Awami League is singing a chorus in the name of BNP by setting fire to vehicles, he said, ‘Awami terrorists are setting fire to vehicles; we have numerous proofs of that.’

In a statement, BNP said that the activities of Kali Puja, the second largest festival after Durga Puja of the Hindu community, which will be celebrated across the country on Sunday, would be out of the blockade.

Meanwhile, violence and arson attacks started on Saturday night, hours before the blockade started.

Three public buses were set on fire at the Gabtali Bus Stand area, at Gulistan and in front of Notre Dame College in Arambagh at night, said Fire Service media cell officer Talha Bin Zasim.

Earlier, two crude bombs exploded in front of Babul Tower at Farmgate in the evening. No one was injured in the incident, said Tejgaon police station officer-in-charge Apurba Hasan.