BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia on Tuesday led an impromptu sit-in in the capital against ‘attempt to foil’ a discussion marking the founding anniversary of Chhatra Dal.
Jatyiatabadi Chhatradal, student wing of BNP, organised the discussion at the Institution of Engineer’s, Bangladesh scheduled to start at 2:00 pm after getting permission from authorities concerned.
But the JCD leaders at 10:00am found that the IEB auditorium was locked and its leaders and activists started to gather at the venue.
BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir called news briefing at the party’s central office at Nayapaltan around 12:45pm alleged that attempts were being made to stop JCD’s programme mentioning cause by IEB authority that President Abdul Hamid would attend a function on the day on the Supreme Court premises adjacent to the IEB.
He said the main gate of the auditorium was locked. He claimed that JCD got permission from IEB and police.
Later, around 2:00 pm JCD took position on IEB premises in front of the auditorium amid presence BNP of leaders including Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir to stage demonstration in protest against keeping lock the auditorium entrance.
BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia who was made chief guest at the discussion arrived the venue around 4:25 pm when the protest was continuing.
After about 15 minutes of her arrival, Fakhrul announced that at the directive of Khaleda Zia urged all to stage sit-in led by Khaleda for an indefinite period against not allowing to use the auditorium.
Leaders and activists of JCD many of them wearing colourful T-shirt, caps, with band party and holding placards of late president Ziaur Rahman, Khaleda Zia, BNP senior vice-chairman Tarique Rahman joined the programme and shouted anti-government slogans.
Around 5:17 pm, BNP publicity secretary Shahiduddin Chowdhury Annie announced the crowd that IEB authority unlocked the auditorium gate in honor of Khaleda Zia.
After few minutes the leaders and activists along with Khaleda and other BNP leaders entered the auditorium and started the scheduled discussion with JCD president Rajib Ahsan in the chair.
Addressing the discussion at 6:30 pm, Khaleda said the present government move to announce next general after nabbing her party leaders and activists would not be allowed to happen.She said that election like 2014 could not be held without a big party like BNP.
She said this time election would be held with participation of all parties. Khaleda said BNP would contest the poll but it definitely would be held under a neutral government.
“BNP is election oriented party. It can’t be to keep us out of election. We will participate in election,” the BNP chief said.
She criticising the government for not allowing opposition to exercise their democratic rights, saying this is the example of democracy of incumbent government to keep lock the auditorium to foil JCD’s discussion.
She asked for dissolving the parliament before election. Khaleda said 2018 would be the year of democracy. Khaleda asks police not to arrest and shot her party leaders and activists, saying BNP has no dispute with police. Awami League is making police bad, she said.
BNP leaders including Mirza Fakhrul, Moudud Ahmed, Abdul Moyeen Khan and Abdullah Al Noman among others addressed the discussion.