Police have launched a crackdown on BNP leaders and activists in the capital and elsewhere ahead of the verdict scheduled to be delivered on February 8 in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case against party chief Khaleda Zia and her son Tarique Rahman.
Detectives last night arrested former Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal president Azizul Bari Helal and four BNP activists in Moghbazar area over Tuesday's attack on police and the snatching of two fellow activists from the High Court area when the BNP chairperson was returning home from the court in Bakshibazar.
With these five, police have either arrested or detained around 100 BNP leaders and activists in the last two days in connection with Tuesday's incident. The law enforcers yesterday detained around 20 people in the HC area.
Meanwhile, BNP Senior Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi yesterday alleged that a huge number of police, some in plainclothes, were deployed in front of Khaleda's Gulshan residence, reports UNB.
In Bagerhat, police arrested 46 people, including Bagerhat district Chhatra Dal general secretary Nure Alam Bhuiyan Tanu, in the last two days.
The law enforcers in Satkhira arrested 26 BNP and Jamaat activists in 24 hours as of 6:00pm yesterday, reports our Correspondent in Satkhira.
Asaduzzaman Mia, commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police, yesterday said detectives arrested Azizul Bari Helal and others on specific charges of attacking the law enforcers and snatching two detainees from a prison van.
“We have started a drive and will continue it to arrest those who carried out the attack and those who were behind the scene,” he told The Daily Star.
Three cases have been filed against several hundred BNP men, including some of its top leaders, over Tuesday's incidents.
The accused in the cases include top BNP leaders Gayeshwar Chandra Roy, who was arrested in Gulshan area on Tuesday night, Ruhul Kabir Rizvi, Shawkat Mahmud, Asaduzzaman Ripon, Zainul Abedin Faruk, Mahbub Uddin Khokon, Habib-un-Nabi Khan Sohel, Shyama Obayed and many others from BNP, Jubo Dal and Chhatra Dal.
Ramna police yesterday produced Gayeshwar and 37 others before a magistrate's court and sought 10 days' remand for each except Gayeshwar.
Metropolitan Magistrate Mahmudul Hassan ordered to send Gayeshwar and a BNP activist, who is a cancer patient, to jail and granted three-day remand for one and a two-day remand for the rest.
Except for Gayeshwar, the leaders and activists were arrested on Tuesday in Paribagh area.
Shahbagh police also produced 18 BNP leaders and activists before the same court and sought seven-day remand for each. The court granted two-day remand for each.
On Tuesday, hundreds of BNP men swooped on police and snatched away two of their fellows who were detained. In the process, three policemen were injured and a prison van was vandalised.
The incident occurred around 3:00pm when the motorcade of Khaleda Zia was crossing the area on way to her Gulshan residence from the court in Bakshibazar, said witnesses.
Following the incidents, police were put on high alert on the roads on Khaleda's way to and from the court yesterday. The police did not allow anyone to stand for a moment near the HC area from where BNP leaders usually escort the chairperson's motorcade.
The police were seen picking up around 20 people from the spot. The BNP chairperson came out of the court around 3:30pm.
Detectives are also analysing video footages to identify who actually attacked the police and damage the prison van and a gun.
Unlike the previous days, BNP leaders and activists yesterday joined Khaleda's motorcade near Ramna Park, Matsya Bhaban and the press club areas.