Over 110 people, mostly BNP leaders and activists, were arrested in five districts yesterday on charges of subversive activities and attempted sabotage.
Debidwar upazila BNP Secretary General Mohammad Giasuddin and Burichang upazila BNP Joint Secretary Salauddin Ahmed were among the 63 arrested in 17 upazilas of Cumilla. Most of the other arrestees were BNP-Jamaat activists.
Mohammad Azimul Ahsan, additional superintendent of Cumilla police, said they were arresting “miscreants” to maintain law and order.
In Jhenidah, police held 43 people, including BNP-Jamaat men, from six upazilas on the similar charges.
At least seven BNP activists were detained in Khulna, claimed Shafiqul Alom Mona, president of Khulna BNP.
However, Abdur Rashid, officer-in-charge (watch) of Special Branch, told The Daily Star that police arrested 35 people in sabotage and other cases filed with different police stations of the district. “Police didn't arrest them seeing their political identities.”
The law enforcers arrested two Jamaat activists in Gaibandha and nine BNP-Jamaat men in Dinajpur.
On Thursday, the BNP alleged that more than 2,200 of its leaders and activists were held across the country in just three days after Tuesday's rally of the Jatiya Oikyafront, an alliance of the BNP and some other political parties.
In Dhaka, law enforcers picked up at least 372 people before and after the Oikyafront rally in the city's Suhrawardy Udyan. They were arrested on different charges, including attacking police with brick chips, assembling illegally, creating obstacles to police duties, creating anarchy and attempted murder. Many of them were on remand after being produced before different Dhaka courts.
The police action has triggered panic among the BNP activists as they have already been accused in different “political cases”.
Our correspondents in Cumilla, Jhenidah, Khulna and Dinajpur contributed to this report.