A rally of Bangladesh Nationalist Party has been foiled in front of the National Press Club in Dhaka after police charged baton on Saturday.
A rally of Bangladesh Nationalist Party has been foiled in front of the National Press Club in Dhaka after police charged baton on Saturday.Dipu Malakar

BNP leaders and activists locked into a clash with police at the end of a protest rally of the party in front of Jatiya Press Club in the capital on Saturday, leaving over a hundred people injured, reports UNB.

Several hundred BNP leaders and activists joined the rally that began around 10am in protest against the Jatiya Muktijoddha Council's (Jamuka's) move to revoke party founder Ziaur Rahman's gallantry title of Bir Uttam.

As the rally ended around 12:00pm with BNP standing committee member Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain's speech, police asked the protestors to vacate the road in front of the Press Club immediately for the vehicle movement.

At one stage, the BNP activists locked into altercations and scuffles with police, prompting the law enforcers to go into an action on the protesters.


The BNP activists also threw brick hips towards police forcing them to charge batons and disperse the agitators and thus brought the situation under control.

During the clash, BNP senior leaders, including Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, Gayeshwar Chandra Roy, Amanullah Aman and Nazimuddin Alam, took shelter in the Jatiya Press Club.

They left the Press Club around 12:50pm as the situation became normal.

Contacted, Mamunur Rashid, officer-in-charge of Shahbagh police station, said BNP leaders and activists were holding the rally blocking roads without police permission since morning.

"We allowed them to hold the programme though they didn't take permission. As the rally ended, we urged them to allow moving vehicles clearing the road, but they attacked us without any provocation. Later, we brought the situation under control," he said.

The OC said he along with at least 10 other police members were injured in the attack by the BNP men.

He said they detained 18 people in front of the Press Club and nearby areas in this connection.

Meanwhile, BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi alleged that their party's 150 leaders and activists were injured as police attacked them.

Besides, he claimed that police arrested their party's 25 leaders and activists from the rally venue.

Speaking at a press conference at BNP's Nayapaltan central office in the afternoon, Rizvi also said police attacked their rally at the 'behest' of the government.

"The government has become sacred after seeing the mass wave of people at BNP's rally. So, they responded with sticks," he said.

As part of the party's countrywide programme in all cities, BNP's Dhaka south and north city units jointly arranged the rally.

Earlier on Thursday, the party announced a two-day demonstration programme protesting what it said an 'evil effort' to repeal the party founder Ziaur Rahman's Bir Uttam gallantry title.

BNP's all-district units are also scheduled to stage demonstrations across the country on Sunday to register their protest against Jamuka's move.

Meanwhile, the Jatiya Muktijoddha Council (Jamuka) at a meeting on Tuesday discussed the ways to revoke the gallantry title of Ziaur Rahman for 'violating' the constitution, 'abetting' the self-proclaimed killers of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in escaping the country.

The meeting also agreed to repeal then state-given awards to Bangabandhu's four convicted killers Noor Chowdhury, Shariful Haque Dalim, Mosleh Uddin and Rashed Chowdhury.

Bir Uttam, the second-highest award for individual gallantry in Bangladesh, was conferred on Ziaur Rahman for his contributions to the Liberation War as a sector commander.

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