BNP activists yesterday came under attack, were arrested, and faced obstructions from law enforcement agencies in different parts of the country as they observed the party's 40th founding anniversary.
In Shariatpur, at least 25 people were injured during a clash between Awami League and BNP men in sadar upazila. The clash broke out when some local Jubo League and Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) activists attacked the party's programme.
The district unit of BNP organised the programme at its General Secretary Nasir Uddin alias Kalu's house.
Utpal Biswas, sub-inspector of Palon Model Police Station, said police rushed to the spot when the Jubo League and BNP men were chasing each other. The situation was brought under control later.
In Mymensingh, police allegedly foiled BNP's anniversary programme at its Natun Bazar office.
Protesting the police action, the president of the district unit (south) of BNP, AKM Mosharraf Hossain, held a press conference at his house in the afternoon.
He said police took position near the office in the morning and barred party leaders and activists from entering the office.
Police also chased away party activists at different parts of the city while they raided the houses of BNP leaders on Friday night.
BNP and its front organisations, however, could bring out separate processions in the city, marking the founding anniversary.
Denying the allegations, Mahmudul Islam, officer-in-charge of Kotwali Police Station, said police were on their regular duty, and no such incident occurred.
In Rajshahi's Charghat upazila, police foiled BNP's anniversary programme and arrested its 12 leaders including two top leaders.
The arrestees include Abu Sayeed Chand, upazila BNP president and chairman of Upazila Parishad, and Yunus Talukhdar, upazila BNP general secretary.
The rest are BNP activists, said police.
The local unit of BNP organised a discussion on the occasion at Solua Eidgah field with Chand in the chair. Soon after the meeting began at 5:00pm, some of the participants of the meeting threw a crude bomb on policemen, said Nazrul Islam, officer-in-charge of Charghat Police Station.
BNP men and witnesses, however, denied the allegation and said no incident of blasting crude bombs occurred.
Rajshahi District Jubo Dal general secretary Shafiqul Islam Samapta was present in the meeting. He said police asked the meeting organisers to stop the programme and leave the venue when Abu Sayeed Chand began addressing the participants.
“Chand hurriedly ended his speech and asked all BNP and its front organisation to leave the venue,” Samapta said.
As the meeting participants were leaving the field, a huge number of policemen started arresting the BNP activists, Samapta said. When Chand protested, police arrested him and Yunus on charge of obstructing police duty, he said.
In Comilla, police detained 14 BNP leaders and activists in Chauddagram upazila.
BNP leaders claimed that the activities were arrested when they gathered at the place to join the anniversary programme.
However, Shuvoranjon Chakma, inspector (investigation) of Chauddagram Police Station, said the activists were arrested because they assembled on Dhaka-Chittagong highway to carry out sabotage activities.