Detectives picked up four BNP central leaders in the capital today, a day after Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's warning of taking stern action to stop post-poll violence.
The detainees include BNP Vice-Chairman Selima Rahman, BNP chief's adviser Khandaker Mahbub Hossain, incumbent MP Nazimuddin Ahmed and the party's organising secretary Fazlul Haque Milon.
With the arrest of Nazimuddin and Milon, total number of arrested BNP central leaders has risen to over 35 in the last three months.
Police freed four other BNP leaders including Opposition Chief Whip Zainul Abdin Farroque, lawmakers Harunur Rashid and Ashrafuddin Nizan and Mohila Dal leader Shirin Sultana hours after detaining them in the capital.
In a press briefing at her residence around 6:30pm, Selima on behalf of the BNP-led 18-party opposition combine lambasted the prime minister for January 5 'farcical election'.
She also announced extension of the ongoing hartal till 6:00pm tomorrow demanding cancellation of the polls results.
Around half an hour later, detectives entered her residence and picked the BNP leader, a mid-level leader of the party who was present there at that time told The Daily Star.
Earlier around 2:15pm, another team of the detectives detained Khandaker Mahbub Hossain as he came out of the Jatiya Press Club after attending a discussion, witnesses said.
While speaking at the discussion titled “disgrace January 5 national election,” Hossain, also vice-chairman of Bangladesh Bar Council, lambasted the government for staging a "farcical and staged-managed election".
He also said any government forms through the one-sided and farcical election cannot be legitimate. “Those who are saying that election on January 5 was inevitable for continuation of the democratic process and constitution are not telling right.”
Pointing to the government, he also said still there is time -- come to the path of democracy.
Hossain was later taken to DB office, assistant commissioner (media) of Dhaka Metropolitan Police Satyaki Kabiraj told The Daily Star.
Asked Masudur Rahman, deputy commissioner (media) of DMP said Hossain recently delivered instigative speeches for which police arrested him.
Besides, detectives detained BNP MP Nazimuddin Ahmed and Fazlul Haq Milon, organizing secretary of BNP, at a house at Baridhara DOHS in the afternoon.
Eyewitness said, six BNP leaders including the two were staying at a garment office situated on third floor of the House.
Detectives at first detained lawmakers Zainul Abdin Farroque, Ashrafuddin Nizan and Harunur Rashid, BNP Mohila Dal leader Shirin Sultana, Nazimuddin and Milon from the office owned by Farroque.
But they later freed four and took Nazimuddin and Milon to DB office. Police could not give any reason of their arrest immediately.
Meanwhile, Supreme Court Bar Association at a press conference today demanded immediate release of Mahbub Hossain.
AJ Mohammad Ali, president of SCBA, said wholesale arrest after the "farcical" 5 January election is a reflection of the government’s future malafide activities.