Relocate Khaleda's office
Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan skipped yesterday's cabinet meeting to lead a march to lay siege to BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia's Gulshan office but stopped short of it.
The Ports (amendment) Act could not be placed at the cabinet meeting due to the minister's absence, Cabinet Secretary Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan told reporters.
The siege was planned to protest the BNP-led alliance's blockade and hartal.
In a rally about 30 yards from Khaleda's office, the minister, also a top transport leader, demanded that the government arrest Khaleda and relocate her office immediately from the diplomatic zone.
Over a thousand protesters, mostly road and water transport workers, started marching towards Khaleda's office after a brief rally at Gulshan Wonderland Park, addressed by the minister.
But they could not go close to the office on Road-86 as police put up barricades on both ends of the road earlier in the morning.
The protesters then held another rally just inches away the barricade.
“While sitting in her Gulshan office, Khaleda Zia is hatching a conspiracy against the people in the name of a movement. So, we demand that the government immediately shut her office,” the minister told the rally.
He also vowed to return to lay siege to her office should the government fail to arrest the BNP chief.
Other speakers slammed Khaleda for the BNP-led 20-party alliance's blockade that passed its 43rd day yesterday.
A band group was seen playing drums at the rally that began around 12:00noon and ended around 2:00pm.
At one stage, Shajahan Khan asked the group to beat their drums as loudly as they could so that Khaleda woke up to its sound.
As protesters marched towards Khaleda's office after the Wonderland Park rally around 11:40am, miscreants hurled a petrol bomb from a nearby building, leaving several people injured.
Earlier on February 8, Shajahan announced a series of protest programmes, including a march led by himself towards Khaleda's office where she has been staying since January 3.
And hours after his call on the government on January 31 to cut off power and gas lines to Khaleda's office, authorities snapped electricity and cable connections and internet and mobile networks to the office.
The government restored the power connection after 19 hours and mobile networks last week. But the cable, internet and land phone connections remain still snapped, party sources said.
Police have also been barring food and mineral waters meant for about 30 BNP leaders and office staff from entering the office for the past six days.