A covered van of Globe Pharmaceuticals Limited was set on fire in front of the Institution of Engineers in the city Saturday ahead of the 18-Party Alliance-called countrywide shutdown today (Sunday). FE Photo
The BNP-led 18-party alliance is set to enforce a countrywide dawn-to-dusk hartal today (Sunday) in protest against the fuel price hike, reports UNB.
The 18-party alliance called the nationwide shutdown, a day after government hiked the fuel prices.
BNP coordinator Tariqul Islam announced the lockdown at a press briefing at the party's Nayapaltan central office, claiming that it has been called in the interest of people.
Meanwhile, the main opposition BNP Saturday alleged that the law enforcers were harassing the opposition leaders and activists by raiding their houses and arresting them ahead of the hartal.
BNP joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi, in an emergency press briefing at the party's central office, said, "Like previous hartals, the law enforcers are arresting our leaders and activists, raiding their houses and harassing them."
He claimed that over 200 opposition activist were arrested and around 212 others injured by police from Saturday morning to evening.
Rizvi said the government will not be able to prevent people and opposition men from taking part in the hartal by oppressing and harassing them. "The hartal has been called in the greater interest of people. So, we'll make the programme a success together with people braving all obstacles and hurdles." He also censured the Finance Minister AMA Muhith for his remarks about the 18-party's hartal call and termed his comment irresponsible.
Earlier, Friday, responding to a question from journalists about Sunday's hartal called by the BNP-led 18-party alliance, Muhith said, "It's a decision came from madness. It can't be the decision of a responsible political party."
The government has taken strict security measures to avert any unpleasant incident in the capital during the countrywide hartal.
A senior DMP official said additional 9,000 police will be on duty in the city Sunday from 5:00 am to 6:00 pm to maintain law and order.
Besides, plainclothes police with still and video cameras will be put on alert at a number of strategic points in the city during the hartal hours to identify the troublemakers, he said.
Members of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) will also be posted at a number of places along with the police in uniform to ensure the security of people and their property.
A high police official, wishing anonymity, told UNB that the law enforcers have been asked to deal the Jamaat-Shibir men with a strong hand provided they take to the streets during the hartal hours.
Meanwhile, at least six vehicles were torched at different parts of the city and four crude bombs exploded on Dhaka University campus Saturday evening ahead of the hartal. However, there was no report of any injury in the incidents. Huge law enforcers were seen patrolling the streets at all key points of the city to maintain law and order.
The government Thursday raised the petroleum prices with effect from zero hours Friday, the second time after December 30, 2011.
The prices of diesel and kerosene have been raised by Tk 7 per litre while those of octane and petrol by Tk 5 per litre. The petroleum prices were last raised in November 2011.