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BNP likely to call hartal again ahead of Ramadan

Mannan Maruf |
Update: 2010-07-23 18:24:29
BNP likely to call hartal again ahead of Ramadan

DHAKA: The opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) is likely to opt for tougher programmes like hartal ahead of Ramadan, party’s senior leaders said, as the holy month of fasting and festivals usually brings a lull on the outdoor political arena.

Majority leaders and workers of BNP, the former ruling party now pushed into tight corners, favour tougher programmes in case of obstruction to the planned July 25 demonstrations at Muktangon.

They have taken recourse to staging demonstrations because the government did not allow mass hunger strike at Paltan Maidan on July 25.

Chief Whip of the opposition Joynal Abdin Farrukh told Saturday that the opposition might go for general strike ahead of the month of Ramadan “the way the government is obstructing” his party programmes.  

Earlier at a press conference Friday, Senior Joint Secretary-General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir had said the “fascist” attitude of the government is pushing the opposition towards hartal.

The leaders, however, said whatever might be the new programmes the decision will be taken at the national Executive Committee meeting on July 31.  

They said the demand was strong in the party to go for tougher action programmes protesting obstruction to peaceful programmes of the party, “attack” on leaders and workers by police and RAB and Chhatra League and Jubo League “cadres”, and repression on leaders taking on police remand in “false” cases.

Besides, supporters of BNP Standing Committee member Mirza Abbas, student affairs secretary Shahiduddin Chowdhury Annee, missing Chowdhury Alam, Nasir Uddin Ahmed Pintu, Ehsanul Haq Milan, Abdus Salam Pintu and many others were pressing the party’s central leaders to kick up the dust over the issue of “repression”.

Party-insiders said there were pressures from main partner of the four-party alliance Jamaat-e-Islami to throw stronger programmes to protest the issue of amendment to the constitution.

Senior party leaders like MK Anwar said, “Since the government is obstructing our programmes, the programmes may be tougher.”

Senior Joint Secretary-General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir told that the government did not allow Chattra Dal to observe demonstration at Muktangaon, did not sanction the Paltan Maidan for the mass hunger strike and “the government itself is making the country unstable”.

“If the government continues to do so, then BNP might opt for yet tougher programme than hartal,” he said.

BNP chairperson’s adviser Advocate Ahmed Azam Khan told whatever might be the government’s action the BNP will continue its peaceful programme. “When we will see our back to the wall, then we will have to go for tougher programmes.”
Chief Whip of the opposition Joynal Abdin Farukh said, “ It seems the government will not allow us to speak for the people.  I think tougher programmes should be given ahead of Ramadan.”

He said the executive committee will meet on July 31 and the meeting will take a final decision.   

BDST/1356 HRS, JULY 24, 2010

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