On alert, both are
12:00 AM, February 01, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 02:53 AM, February 01, 2018

On alert, both are

Govt, BNP take preparations over Khaleda's graft case verdict Feb 8

The law enforcers as well as the BNP are highly cautious ahead of a Dhaka court's verdict in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case against Khaleda Zia on February 8.

The ruling Awami League is also keeping an eye on the developments.

The police headquarters have already instructed the police stations across the country to stay on alert to thwart any attempt to create untoward situation centring the verdict and keep all the "suspected anarchists" under surveillance.

Wishing not to be named, several police high-ups said the headquarters believe BNP men might take to the street and create anarchy if the verdict goes against their party chief.  

The headquarters also asked the field-level police officers to track down the "opposition" leaders and activists having previous records of involvement in sabotage acts. It also called for taking "extra preventive measures" in the areas that witnessed violence during the anti-government movements in 2013 and 2014.

Talking to The Daily Star yesterday, Devdas Bhattacharya, additional commissioner of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police, said, “We have already instructed all the DMP units to take stern actions so that no one can damage public properties and put people's lives at risk".

On Tuesday, a group of BNP men attacked a prison van and snatched two detained fellow men from the vehicle near the Supreme Court area of the capital. Referring to the incident, Devdas said, "We are arresting those who are responsible for attacking police. The masterminds will be arrested and the drive will continue."

The BNP, on the other hand, is acting watchfully as Khaleda has alerted her party leaders and activists against "possible police harassment" over the verdict following the arrest of Gayeshwar Chandra Roy, said party insiders.

On Tuesday night, plainclothes police arrested BNP standing committee member Gayeshwar and party's executive committee member Onindo Islam Amit in the city.

The BNP also alleged that police raided the houses of many of its leaders, including Jamiruddin Sircar, Netai Roy Chowdhury, Abdul Mannan, Habib-Un-Nabi Khan Sohel and Shafiul Bari Babu, the same night.

A senior leader, seeking anonymity, told this newspaper yesterday that Khaleda advised her party men "not to fall in the trap of the government as it was pushing the BNP to go for confrontation".

“Madam [Khaleda] sent a special message to all the central leaders and high-ups of the party's associate bodies to be careful as the government will use law enforcers to arrest our leaders and activists," he said.

Meanwhile, party's Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir yesterday alleged that the government was provoking the BNP into creating an unstable situation ahead of the court verdict. 

“Our top leaders are being arrested. The government is also issuing threats and carrying out drives to arrest them at a time when the situation is peaceful. They [government] themselves are destroying the stable political situation in the country,” he said at a press conference at the party's Nayapaltan central office.

He also alleged that the government's main target was to create uncertainty centring the verdict and that's why the BNP leaders and activists were being detained.

The AL was yet to give any specific directives to its leaders and activists over the verdict. However, sources in the party said members of Dhaka City AL (South) would be on the streets "to assist law enforcers" on February 8.

“We asked our leaders and activists to remain alert and cooperate with the law enforcers to keep the situation normal. We will not allow BNP men to create any chaotic situation,” Shahey Alam Murad, general secretary of Dhaka city AL (North), told the Daily Star.

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