Bangladesh Police on Sunday arrested a senior leader of the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP).
A day before this, three people were killed during violent clashes at an anti-government rally organized by BNP, due to which tension has increased in the country ahead of the general elections proposed in January.
Bangladesh Nationalist Party general secretary Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir was arrested from his home in neighboring Gulshan, a BNP press wing official said.
A policeman and a BNP worker were killed and over 200 people, including security personnel, were injured when violence broke out in Dhaka on Saturday during rallies called by the ruling and opposition parties.
The BNP, led by former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, organized a grand rally here on Saturday demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to ensure free and fair elections under a non-party interim government. In response to the opposition rally, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s party also took out a peace rally.
“We have taken him (Alamgir) into our custody for legal action,” a spokesman for the intelligence branch of Dhaka Metropolitan Police told reporters.
Alamgir’s wife Rahat Ara said that the police initially reached his house and took away the hard disk containing the CCTV camera footage of his house and building.
Ara said police later returned and took 75-year-old Alamgir into custody. He said, ‘He (Alamgir) is very ill.’
At the same time, BNP canceled its huge rally to be held on Sunday and protested across the country in response to the police action. Prime Minister Hasina’s ruling Awami League has asked party units to hold simultaneous peace rallies across the country.
Meanwhile, violence continued in the country on Sunday. Fire service officials and police said unidentified assailants set a bus on fire on Sunday, killing the bus conductor.
The Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), led by former premier Khaleda Zia, had called a countrywide strike on Sunday to protest the police action that forced the party to abruptly end its grand rally a day earlier.