Attack on rally: BNP demands withdrawal of Habiganj SP, 2 OCs

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Dhaka, Dec 23: BNP on Thursday demanded the removal of Habiganj police superintendent (SP) and two officers-in-charge (OCs) for reportedly attacking the party’s peaceful rally and “illegally” spraying around ‘’1,200 bullets’’ on its leaders and activists.

Speaking at a press conference at BNP chairperson’s Gulshan office, party secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir also announced a two-day protest programme in Sylhet division for Friday and Saturday in protest against the police action in Habiganj rally on Wednesday.

“At the behest of Habiganj SP SM Murad Ali and two OCs Masuk Ali and Nazmul Ahsan, police indiscriminately charged batons, lobbed teargas shells and sprayed bullets on BNP leaders and activists in the peaceful rally without any provocation,” he said.

The BNP leader claimed that around 300 leaders and activists of their party and its associate bodies were injured in the attack.

Of them, he said, 10 BNP leaders and activists have been receiving treatment at different hospitals in critical condition while the eyes of a leader were damaged.

Fakhrul said the attack and firing of shots by police is completely uncalled for. “Around 12 rounds of bullets were used, which is unlawful. The use of shotgun bullets is prohibited all over the world. Even after that, such bullets were used. We demanded the immediate removal of SP Murad Alai, OCs Nazmul Ahsan and Masuk Ali.”

He also urged the government to bring the trio under trial through an impartial investigation.

Fakhrul alleged that the government has extremely squeezed the political space in the country in a planned way. “Our all programmes are held in a peaceful manner. Peace is not harmed anywhere from BNP’s side. But they’re obstructing our peaceful programmes.”

He said their party staged six other rallies in six districts the same day peacefully demanding their party chairperson Khaleda Zia’s treatment abroad.

The BNP leader said people are showing their no confidence in the movement by spontaneously participating in BNP’s programmes.

He warned that the government will never be able to suppress people’s ongoing movement demanding the ‘restoration’ of democracy and Khaleda Zia’s treatment abroad by resorting to such repressive acts, killing and enforced disappearance.

Protest Programmes

Fakhrul said BNP leaders and activists will stage demonstrations in all upazilas under the Sylhet division on Friday protesting the ‘barbaric’ attack on their rally in Habiganj.

Besides, he said, a similar programme will be observed in all districts under the division on Saturday.

BNP standing committee members Nazrul Islam Khan, Amir Khosru Mahmud Chowdhury and chairperson’s adviser Zainul Abedin Farroque were present at the press conference.