BNP leaders and activists were dispersed by law enforcers at different places as they gathered to greet party chief Khaleda Zia who was heading for Sylhet yesterday, just three days before a court is set to deliver verdict in a graft case against her.
A group of people chanted slogans in favour of the ruling Awami League and showed shoes and sandals when Khaleda's motorcade was crossing Narsingdi's Bhelanagr area around 11:20am.
However, a huge number of BNP men could stand on roadsides in some places, where they didn't face police obstructions, and chanted slogans welcoming the party chairperson. Their big gatherings were seen in Bhairab, Habiganj and Sylhet.
Law enforcers in large numbers were also deployed at important points on Dhaka-Sylhet highway.
Police allegedly chased away BNP leaders and activists in Narayanganj, Narsingdi and Nabiganj of Habiganj.
They detained a number of the party men, including four in Narayanganj, 12 in Kararchar area of Narsingdi, who tried to take to the streets to greet their party chief.
'NOT A POLITICAL TOUR'
Talking to reporters before Khaleda's tour began, BNP Standing Committee Member Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury said their chairperson was going to Sylhet only to offer Fateha at the shrines of two great saints.
Replying to a query, he said Khaleda is not going to launch from Sylhet her party's campaign for the next election.
The tour came after the Special Court-5 in Dhaka fixed February 8 for delivering the verdict in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case filed against Khaleda and five others.
Earlier on Tuesday, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at a rally in Sylhet sought vote for “boat”, the electoral symbol of the Awami League, beginning her polls campaign.
KHALEDA AT TWO SHRINES
Khaleda arrived at Sylhet Circuit House around 4:30pm and took rest for a while. She then started for the shrine of Hazrat Shahjalal (RA).
She reached the famous shrine around 6:00pm and offered Fateha and Munajat. On her way, she was greeted by hundreds of her supporters standing on roadsides.
Later, the BNP chief went to the shrine of Hazrat Shah Paran (RA) at Khadimnagar, nearly 7km away from the city, around 7:20pm. After offering Fateha and Munajat, she returned to Sylhet Circuit House.
Khaleda last visited Sylhet on October 4, 2013 and addressed a rally of BNP-led 20-party alliance there.
Abdur Razzak, inspector (investigation) of Sadar Model Police in Narayanganj, said advocate Sakhawat Hossain Khan, vice president of Narayanganj city BNP; advocate Anwar Prodan, former entertainment affairs secretary of District Bar Association, and Moinuddin Reza, co-organising secretary of Narayanganj Lawyers Forum, were detained in Signboard area around 10:30am.
They were arrested in a case under the Explosive Substances Act, our Narayanganj correspondent reported.
Our Narsingdi correspondent added that police detained local BNP unit's international affairs secretary Sanaullah Mia and 12 others. Sanaullah was later released.
At least 123 BNP-Jamaat leaders and activists were arrested from Sunday night to early yesterday.
Of them, 69 were arrested in Jhenidah, 17 in Chandpur, 12 in Satkhira, seven in Jessore, two in Faridpur, eight in Bogra, four in Narayanganj and three in Mymensingh.