Rizvi, Ratan arrestedMuktadir Rashid
Cases filed against top BNP-led alliance leaders, houses being raided
The police on Monday arrested the BNP’s joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi and party leader Kamruzzaman Ratan and continued raiding houses to arrest top leaders of the opposition alliance after the police had filed two cases against them for violence during Sunday’s general strike.
Although a group of BNP leaders filed petitions seeking anticipatory bail in the two cases, the petitions could not be moved as the judicial function of the High Court was halted because of the general strike and the chief justice rejected their counsel’s plea for setting up a special bench to hear the petitions in the evening.
The police on Sunday night filed two cases — one with Tejgaon police for setting fire to a vehicle near the Prime Minister’s Office and the other with Shahbagh police in connection with the home-made bomb blasts at
the secretariat during strike hours on Sunday.
The acting BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, BNP leaders MK Anwar, Sadeque Hossain Khoka, ASM Hannan Shan and Mirza Abbas, the party’s joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi and lawmaker Shahid Uddin Chowdhury Annie, the Liberal Democratic Party chief, Oli Ahmed, the Bangladesh Jatiya Party chairman, Andaleeve Rahman Partha, among others, are accused in both the cases.
The Detective Branch arrested Rizvi at Kakrail about 8:00pm when he was on his way home at Mohammadpur from the party’s central office at Naya Paltan.
The former Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal president was taken to the Detective Branch headquarters on Minto Road.
The police arrested Kamruzzaman Ratan, accused in the two cases, at Mouchak in Dhaka about 1:00am when he was returning home after attending a talk show at Desh Television where he talked about the disappearance of BNP leader M Ilias Ali that took place on April 17.
Another BNP leader, Rehana Akhter Dolly, was arrested at her house in the capital early in the day.
The police filed the case related to setting the vehicle on fire against 41 leaders and activists of BNP and its allies and staff of a bus at 11:30pm Sunday, the Tejgaon police officer-in-charge, Apurba Hasan, said.
The first information report of the case says that 42 people, including opposition lawmakers Mahbubuddin Khokan, Shahid Uddin Chowdhury Annie and Andaleeve Rahman Partha, BNP leader Amanullah Aman, Mirza Abbas, Ruhul Kuddus Talukder Dulu, Ratan, Fazlul Haq Milon, Nazimuddin Alam, Goyeshwar Chandra Roy, Habibunnabi Khan Sohel and Chhatra Dal president Sultan Salauddin Tuku, in six to seven microbuses stopped a bus and vandalised it near the Prime Minister’s Office on Sunday.
Someone of them set the bus on fire, the first information report said.
BNP leaders Fakhrul, MK Anwar, Khnadakar Mosharraf Hossain, Hannan Shah, Sadeque Hossain, Rizvi, Oli Ahmed and Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh nayeb-e-amir Maqbul Hossain were accused of plotting, instructing and financing for the alleged offence.
The Shahbagh police filed the explosion case about 11:30pm on Sunday accusing 28 leaders and activists of BNP and its major alliance partners.
In the case statement, the police said that Fakhrul Islam and 28 others, who were named, and some others, not named, of the opposition alliance and two motorcyclists carried out the explosion to paralyse the public life, creating panic and harm the democratic government by direct and indirect instructions.
The Detective Branch arrested Ratan at a place near Desh Television office about 1:00am in the both cases, Shibly Noman, assistant commissioner of the Ramna zone police, said .
Two bombs went off at the secretariat during the strike the BNP-led alliance enforced on Sunday in protest at the government’s ‘failure to return’ Ilias Ali.
In his immediate reaction after the cases were filed, Rizvi at a press briefing at the party’s central office said that the cases had been filed as part of a conspiracy to harass them.
Hours after the case relating to the vehicle fire was filed against Mirza Abbas, the police conducted a raid on his house at Dakkhin Shahjahanpur on Monday to arrest him.
Abbas’s wife Afroza Abbas said that a team of 20 to 25 policemen had entered the house around 2:30pm and wanted to know about her husband. The team searched the house for half an hour and left.
The police earlier conducted an hour-long search at the rented flat of Fakhrul Islam at Uttara in the capital about 4:45am, said her wife Rahat Ara Begum. The BNP leader was not at home during the raid, she told New Age.
Rahat said that she had asked the police to produce the search warrant but the police did not do so. Rahat opened the door and let in the law enforcers, who then searched all the rooms and went away. None was arrested.
Rahat said that democracy was faced with a crisis more grave than that of the military-backed interim regime of 2007–2008.
The court correspondent of New Age said that a Dhaka Court had allowed Ratan to be remanded in police custody for three days each in the two cases.
Three others — the bus staff Mohammad Jashim and Sohel Miah and local Manik Ratan, were also remanded in custody in the case.
Dhaka metropolitan magistrate Shariar Mahmud Adnan passed the order after the investigation officer, Biplob Kumar Shil, had produced them in court seeking them to be remanded for seven days.
Rehana Akhter Dolly was also produced in the court after her arrest in the explosion case and the court posted the date of remand hearing for May 7 because of her illness.
Rehana was vomiting when she was produced in court.
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