DHAKA: The main opposition BNP kicked off massive mass-contact campaigns to drum up the scheduled June 27 dawn–to–dusk countrywide ‘hartal’, with central leaders lading agitprop groups in the capital.
Under the warm-up move, leaders and activists are carrying out mass contact, small processions and leaflet distribution in the city trying to make a “success” the first nationwide general strike by the mainstream opposition against the seventeen-month-old Awami League-led Grand Alliance government.
Led by party senior joint secretary-general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, BNP activists moved round city-annex Uttara around 10am Thursday, calling upon people to observe the hartal against what they called government’s misrule.
The campaigners explained reasons for calling the hartal to local people and businessmen to get their support to the radical political programme.
Mirza Fakhrul Islam, while talking to banglanews24.com.bd, said at least 50 leaders of BNP have been fielded in the preparatory activities as well as campaigns till June 26, in the run-up to the planned shutdown.
He alleged that police obstructed their mass-contact drives several times in different areas.
He said, “The more our democratic programme is hindered, the more will it become successful.”
Three activists were held as they protested the police restriction, he added.
Of the BNP leaders heading the campaign teams, Barrister Rafiqul Islam Mian Thursday distributed leaflets in Mirpur area, Dr Moyeen Khan at Malibagh, Chamelibagh, Bijaynagar and Bailey Road, Mirza Abbas in Khilgaon, South and North Shajahanpur and Meradia areas, Syed Moazzem Hossain Alal in Mohammadpur and Dhanmondi areas, and Goutam Chakrabarty at Lalbag.
Earlier on May 19, BNP chairperson and ex-PM Khaleda Zia from a grand rally at Paltan Maidan announced a three-tier programme of anti-government movement, including June 27 hartal.
The hartal has been called on a number of issues and demands that include ensuring supply of gas, electricity and water, to stop extortion, tender manipulation and grabbing allegedly by the ruling party `terrorists`, scrapping `anti-nation` agreements signed with India and containing the price hike of essentials.
Out of the three-phased programme, a mass sit-in was staged in the capital city on June 9 and countrywide demonstrations on June 20.
BDST: 1430 Hrs, June 24,2010