Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) appears to have suddenly awakened over Saturday’s police raid on party chairperson Khaleda Zia’s Gulshan office in the capital.
The beleaguered BNP, which had almost no political activities for long after its failure in the past anti-government movement, has become active over the raid on the party chief’s office.
Soon after the police raid on Khaleda Zia’s office, party leaders and activists raised strong voice against such police action through demonstration across the country.
A police team on Saturday morning conducted a raid on the BNP chief’s political office on information that there are huge anti-state materials kept stored in the office.
“We conducted the raid on Khaleda Zia’ office following a court order,” officer-in-charge of Gulshan police station Abu Bakar Siddique told the daily sun.
The raid came following a general diary (GD) filed with Gulshan police station on Friday. In the GD, it was alleged that huge ‘anti-state materials’ were stored in the BNP chief’s office and its adjacent areas to carry out subversive activities’.
After the raid, police gave a ‘seizure’ list to the BNP leaders. The list signed by Gulshan police station Sub-Inspector Azizul Islam, mentioned “zero” as nothing was found there.
Hearing the news of the drive, several hundred BNP leaders and activists gathered the party chief’s office and instantly staged demonstration against the raid.
BNP, its front and associate organisations also went out on demonstrations on Sunday in different cities, districts and upazilas across the country in protest against the raid.
Party leaders are continuously protesting and denouncing the incident through press briefings and various programmes.
“Police raid on opposition party office without any reason is manifests nasty politics,” said BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia in her social network twitter account on May 21.
Later, the BNP chief held an ‘emergency’ meeting with party’s standing committee members on Sunday night and decided to stage a protest rally at Suhrawardy Udyan in the capital on Wednesday.
The meeting strongly condemned the police raid on the party chief’s office, terming the incident unprecedented in the country’s political culture” said a BNP press release on Monday.
“It is a big conspiracy against the country’s democracy,” the press release added.
Party sources said BNP now wants to project before the people and the international community the government’s ‘suppressive’ behaviour towards the opposition.
BNP also wants to win public sympathy and try to gain support of different other political parties of the country over the matter, the sources added.
Political analysts said the raid at Khaleda Zia’s office is ‘mysterious’ as it came at a time when extended meeting of the ruling Awami League was held the same day.
Addressing a press briefing on Tuesday, BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi said BNP has taken preparation for Wednesday’s public rally at Suhrawardy Uddyan.
“We think that government will not give us permission to hold public rally. But we won’t wait for permission for long. If BNP men take to the streets, the government can’t remain in power,” BNP senior leader Gayeshwar Chandra Roy said at a programme.