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Protest procession Monday

Police intercept BNP`s black-flag demo

Alal, 150 others held: Over 230 hurt: Govt provokes BNP: Fakhrul

 Alal, 150 others held: Over 230 hurt: Govt provokes BNP: Fakhrul
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BNP activists at black flag programme charged batons in front of Nayapaltan Central Office in city by the police to disperse them on Saturday.

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Staff Reporter :
Police on Saturday intercepted BNP's scheduled black-flag demonstration in front of the party's central office at Naya Paltan of Dhaka city.
Not only that, they picked up more than 150 leaders and activists including the BNP Joint-Secretary General Syed Moazzem Hossain Alal from the spot and injured over 230 leaders and activists by swooping with batton, teargas shells and hot water.
BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir condemned the police action.
 "The government is provoking the BNP to clash with police," said Mirza Fakhrul in a press briefing at Naya Paltan after the incident.
Afterward BNP Senior Joint-Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi announced fresh programme for observing in the capital city's thanas, and districts and other metropolitan cities on Monday.  
Plainclothes police detained BNP Joint-Secretary General Syed Moazzem Hossain Alal around 12:20pm when he came out of the party office soon after the press briefing.
The party's Assistant Climate Affairs Secretary, Mustafizur Rahman Babul, former MP Rasheda Begum

Hira, among others, were also detained.
Mirza Fakhrul and Ruhul Kabir Rizvi demanded unconditional release of Syed Moazzem Hossain Alal with all the party leaders and activists.
The BNP activists and leaders were scheduled to stage the demonstration in front of the party central office at 11:00am on the day in protest against police refusal for holding a rally on Thursday demanding release of the party Chairperson Khaleda Zia.
Witnesses said the party leaders and activists started gathering in front of the party office around 9am. The police also take position surrounding the party office since morning.
At a stage, the police swooped on the BNP leaders and activists who were chanting slogans demanding Khaleda Zia's releases from jail and were waving black-flags.
Police have arrested some leaders and activists and drove away others from the spot. But the party men again took position in front of the party office and started chanting slogans and showed black-flags.
"Leaders and activists started to gather in front of the party office at 9:00am to join the hour-long black-flag demonstration, but police started arresting them from 10:15am," Fakhrul said in the press briefing.
Mirza Fakhrul said also, the law enforcers' unleashed attack on the party activists without any provocation, charged batons and sprayed coloured water from water cannon to foil the programme.
The BNP leader also alleged that teargas shells were lobbed inside the party office as the activists took shelter there from police attack, leaving many of them injured.
Additional Deputy Commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (Motijheel zone) Shibli Noman said, "The BNP had no permission for staging demonstration. So the police obstructed them to ensure vehicles movement on the street."
He also said, the DMP imposed restriction on holding rally in the capital since February 6, and that was still in effect.
The party activists blocked the road for their programme where police dispersed those using water cannon, he added.
Replying to a query, Mirza Fakhrul said, "Why do we need to seek permission from the police for every programme? To hold a demonstration it is our fundamental right. Then why do we seek permission for every programme?"
He also said, "It means we need permission to hold a press briefing inside our own office. We need to get permission when we want to talk with our party leaders."
Ruhul Kabir Rizvi also said in a separate press briefing at 2:30pm in the  party office that the police are being used to foil opposition party's programmes.
He stated the police attacks on the party leaders and activists as sign of 'brutality.'
He said, "When the leaders and activists become thirsty after getting hurt by the police attack, they want water, but the police return them indecent words instead of water."

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