DHAKA: The dawn-to-dusk countrywide hartal, called by opposition BNP led 18-party alliance to press home their demand of bringing back Elias Ali, has begun for second consecutive day Monday.
In the early hours of the hartal, BNP leaders and activists gathered at the party central office in Nayapaltan.
Meanwhile, Police held three BNP men, including former Deputy Minister for Health Shirajul Hoque from in front of party’s Naya Paltan office during the nationwide dawn to dusk hartal on Monday.
Sources said police picked up Sirajul along with a party activist at about 7am while they were trying to enter inside the party office ignoring police obstruction.
Earlier, another BNP activist Abdul Aziz was held from the same place at about 5:30 am.
Acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir made the announcement to reinforce the nationwide two-day strike at a press conference held at Naya Paltan party office in the city on Saturday afternoon.
The first-day of countrywide dawn-to-dusk hartal was observed Sunday amid scattered incidents of violence, vehicle damage and arrests in the capital as well as across the country.
Traffic movement was thin in the capital and most of shops, business houses and educational institutions remained closed. Long-distance bus and launch services were severely hampered during the hartal hours.
However the government offices and bank remained open during the hartal hours.
A few number CNG-run three-wheelers and other motor vehicles were seen plying across the capital. Rickshaws were dominating the major thoroughfares like other hartal days.
Police sources said they take taken measures to ensure people’s security during the hartal hours.
A significant number of law enforcers, including elite forces, have been deployed to avert the untoward situation during the hartal hours in the city.
A total of 10 mobile vigilance teams were in operation during hartal hours to maintain law-and-order situation in the city, they added.
Besides, after the first-day strike, Mirza Fakhrul said opposition BNP-led 18-party alliance would announce tougher movement programmes if organizing secretary M Elias Ali is not found by Monday.
The spokesperson for the former ruling party said, “We have started discussing with lawyers to go to international court to get Elias back as per declaration of Khaleda Zia.”
The BNP leader claimed that some 455 leaders and activists of the party were held and 512 others injured by police and Chhatra League attack during hartal hours.
At least 16 cocktails were exploded in city’s secretariat, Dhaka district and session judge’s court, Malibagh, Sayedabad, Maghbazar, Mugda and Nababpur area during the hartal hours.
A rickshaw puller, M Shafiqul Islam, 35, was injured in the Malibagh cocktail explosion. The left part of his body was burnt completely.
Pickets vandalized some 26 vehicles and torched four buses in city’s Mirpur-10, Jatrabari, Sahinbagh, Sabujbagh and Shahjahanpur during countrywide dawn-to-dusk hartal in the day.
BDST: 0605 HRS, APR 30, 2012
Edited by: Maria Salam, Asst Output Editor
M. Mahbub Alam, Asst Output Editor
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