A 48-hour blockade on roads, railways and waterways enforced by opposition parties including Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) is underway across the country.
The blockade began at 6:00 am on Wednesday and will end on 6:00 am on Friday.
Along with the BNP, other alliances and political parties including Ganatanra Mancha, the 12-party alliance and Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) also simultaneously announced the blockade programmes.
Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami also enforced a blockade separately on Wednesday and Thursday.
Sources concerned said fresh blockaded or shutdown (hartal) will also be announced next Sunday after the weekend on Friday and Saturday.
However, several sources including BNP said opposition parties want to continue with protest programmes like hartal and blockade. In the meantime, if the government announces the polls schedule defying their demand, they will wage tougher movement.
Meanwhile, BNP central leaders instructed the party leaders and activists to strictly observe the declared programmes. The party acting chairman also talked to the leaders and activists at various levels from the UK about the party’s programme and movement as he is monitoring the ongoing movement and programmes.
It has been learned after speaking to several responsible leaders of BNP that most of the central and grassroots leaders want to continue strong programmes. They advised the party’s policymakers to go with hartal and blockade for now. Many leaders also advised to give a break on the weekend for the sake of general people.
According to leaders of BNP and its allies in the one-point movement for the ouster of the government, the election scheduled is likely to be announced in the next week, and until then opposition parties want to continue with movement.
Leaders of these parties assessed that all declared programmes including hartals and blockades have been observed successfully so far, and people extended their solidarity to it. However, the government has unleashed a reign of terror using police and party terrorists, which is why people could not demonstrate taking to the streets. But they are waiting for a scope.
BNP announced a dawn-to-dusk nationwide shutdown for 29 October after its grand rally in Dhaka on 28 October was foiled. After that, the party enforced nationwide blockade on roads, railways and waterways for five days in two spells from 31 October to 6 November protesting the arrest of its leaders, including Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, as well as pressing its one-point demand for the ouster of the government. The third spell of blockade for two days began today, Wednesday.
‘Blockade to be observed peacefully’
At a virtual press conference on Tuesday afternoon, BNP Senior Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi called people to block highways peacefully.
He said, “This programme will be observed peacefully. Our blockade programme is based on popular demand. It is not just a party programme of the BNP.”
Rizivi said they would block roads and highways along with the people and taking position peacefully.
“The government has chalked out a mega plan to carry out various acts of sabotage against us, but we will be on the streets and will resist the evil blueprint of the government,” Rizvi added.
Meanwhile on Tuesday evening, leaders and activists of BNP and Jatiyatabadi Chattra Dal, the student wing of BNP, brought out brisk processions in the capital’s Moghbazar and Farmgate areas supporting the blockade.