The countrywide dawn-to-dusk hartal enforced by Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami protesting the arrest and remand of its top leaders, including Ameer Maqbul Ahmad, ended peacefully with little public response in the city as elsewhere across the country on Thursday.
The shutdown that began at 6:00 am ended at 6pm without any incident of violence.
Vehicular movement in the city was almost normal, but the presence of private vehicles on the streets was relatively thin.
Additional police remained deployed at important points to fend off any untoward incident.
Four hours after the enforcement of the hartal, BNP extended its support to it.
Speaking at a press briefing at the party’s Nayapaltan central office around 10am, BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi, said, “Jamaat enforced a daylong hartal protesting the unfair arrest and remand of their leaders. We extend our support to the shutdown programme.”
The BNP leader further said, “It’s our party’s latest decision. I told you yesterday (Wednesday) I didn’t get any direction from the party’s high command about supporting the hartal. Now I’ve got a direction to extend our support to Jamaat’s today (Thursday) hartal.”
In a statement, Jamaat claimed that law enforcers arrested its 211 leaders and activists across the country during the hartal.
According to reports reaching the UNB news desk, around 90 leaders and activists of Jamaat and its student wing Chhatra Shibir were arrested from Bogra, Laxmipur, Chuadanga, and Jhenaidah districts on Wednesday night, prior to the start of the shutdown.
The movement of vehicles in divisional cities was also normal. No picketing or procession in support of hartal was seen during the hartal hours.
Besides, long route buses left the city, but their number was less than other normal days.
On Tuesday, Jamaat announced the shutdown in a statement soon after a court put nine of their top leaders on a 10-day remand in two cases filed against them with Kadamtali Police Station.
On Monday night, detectives arrested Jamaat Ameer Maqbul Ahmad, its Nayeb-e-Ameer Mia Golam Parwar, also a former MP from Khulna-5 constituency, Secretary General Dr Shafiqur Rahman and six other party leaders from the city's Uttara area.