BNP leaders and activists finally entered the party's Nayapaltan central office in the capital yesterday, 47 days after the office was shut down following arrest of a top BNP leader there.
Law enforcers did not bar BNP Assistant Office Secretary Abdul Latif Jony who unlocked the main entrance at 11:25am yesterday and entered the office with other leaders and activists.
The development took place a day after BNP chief Khaleda Zia called upon the government to free its party office and allowed them to carry out their political activities in order to create an atmosphere for dialogue to resolve the ongoing political stalemate.
In an unprecedented pre-dawn raid, police on November 30 arrested BNP Joint Secretary General Rizvi Ahmed, who had been staying inside the office for one and a half months.
Since then, police had not allowed any BNP men to enter the office. Police forced some staff of the office to keep it shut except for their urgent works outside office.
Although both detectives and other policemen were seen near the BNP office yesterday, they did not bar any BNP men from entering it.
Around 1:30pm, BNP Acting Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, who had been hiding since November 8, visited the office, talked to party men and media, and left after 15 minutes.
Talking to reporters, he asked the government to release the party's leaders and withdrew "fake" cases against them. He also urged the government to hold a dialogue and organise a fresh credible election. He termed the government and its cabinet "illegal" and demanded their resignation immediately.
When reporters asked him how they would hold a dialogue with an "illegal" government, Fakhrul said, “We cannot hold dialogue with air. Though they are a so-called government, we have to talk with them to find a solution."
On Tuesday, police did not make any obstacles when BNP arranged a milad mahfil on the ground floor of the office on the occasion of Eid-e-Miladunnabi.
The office had been cordoned off round the clock by law enforcers since mid-November, which forced the BNP leaders to carry out their work from “underground”. They sent video messages to the media from unknown places. Amid criticism from different quarters, they gave up the practice.
Asaduzzaman, assistant deputy commissioner of Motijheel division of police, told The Daily Star that they never barred anyone from entering the office, they tried to prevent untoward incidents.