The police have allegedly shut the office of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party’s (BNP) Khoksha upazila unit in Kushtia, after pulling down the national flag hoisted marking the Victory Day.

They also arrested eight leaders and activists of the de facto opposition from the district’s Mirpur upazila in the morning when the BNP men were heading towards a memorial to pay tribute to the brave who sacrificed their lives for the sake of the nation.

The BNP men in Khoksha said they brought out a silent procession from their party office in the morning after hoisting national and party flags on the office premises. Later, they paid homage at the Shaheed Minar in Khoksha Janipur government secondary school.

They alleged that the policemen first took an attempt to refrain them from going to pay tribute. Later, the cops took position near the BNP office and forced the BNP men to shut it after pulling down the national flag.

Nafiz Ahmed alias Razu, general secretary of the BNP’s Khoksha municipality unit, said the upazila office had long been under lock and key due to the pressure from the police. It was opened on Friday morning to hold programmes on the Victory Day.

Later, sub-inspector Mojammel Hossain asked them to pull down the flag, shut the office, and leave the area. At one stage, the policemen pulled off the flag and left the area.

Syed Ashiqur Rahman, officer-in-charge (OC) of Khoksa police station, did not pick up the phone when he was called for his statement. He, however, told the local journalists that the cops adopted a careful stance fearing a chaos over paying homage by two political parties at the same place.

Asked about shutting the BNP office, he said the office had been closed for a long time.

Meanwhile, the BNP men in Mirpur upazila went to a memorial to pay homage around 10:15 am, but the policemen created hindrance and arrested eight of the BNP men.

Abdur Rashid, president of Mirpur municipality BNP, said the policemen obstructed them when they went to the memorial with a silent procession. A tension arose there as police did not allow them to pay tribute to the memorial. Later, they arrested eight BNP men from the spot and took them to the police station.

Mirpur OC Rashedul Alam told Prothom Alo that the eight were arrested under a case filed over carrying out subversive activities on 7 December. They were produced before the court.