Arrests of BNP leaders and activists have been reported from across the country ahead of the verdict in the Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case against the party's Chairperson Khaleda Zia, set to be delivered on February 8.
At least 137 leaders and activists of BNP and its affiliated organizations were arrested from Moulvibazar, Habiganj, Jessore, Sylhet, Narayanganj, Kurigram, Noakhali, Rangpur and Bogra over the last two days. Most of arrests were made when the leaders and activists were planning and gathering to greet Khaleda Zia on her way to Sylhet.
The arrests follow those of central leaders including BNP Assistant Organizing Secretary Masukur Rahman Mashuk, Training Affairs Secretary ABM Mosharraf Hossain, Standing Committee Member Gayeshwar Chandra Roy, BNP Chairperson’s Adviser Amanullah Aman and Executive Committee Member Nazimuddin Alam.
Thirty-seven activists of BNP and Chhatra Dal were arrested from different areas in Sylhet district.
The arrests were made before the arrival of Khaleda Zia in the district, between Sunday night and Monday morning.
Sylhet's Additional Superintendent of Police Shamsul Islam Sardar informed that eight were arrested from Bishwanath and Kanaighat upazilas, five from Golapganj, 12 from Osmaninagar, Zakiganj, Gowainghat and Balaganj, two from Beanibazar and one from Fenchuganj.
Sylhet Metropolitan Police Additional Deputy Commissioner (Media) Muhammad Abdul Wahab said a night raid had led to the arrest of nine activists from different areas in the city.
Three activists of Swechchhasebak Dal (voluntary wing) were arrested from a gathering at Sherpur area on the Dhaka-Sylhet highway on Monday afternoon. The activists were waiting on the roadside to welcome BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia.
Two Chhatra Dal leaders were arrested separately from Eidgah and Umednagar areas of Habiganj on Monday.
Harinakunda Upazila Parishad Chairman and BNP leader MA Majid was detained from Jessore Airport at 8:30pm on Sunday.
Police detained six leaders and activists, including BNP International Affairs Secretary Nazrul Islam Azad and Narayanganj city BNP Vice-President Sakhawat Hossain Khan, from different areas of Narayanganj district around 11am on Monday.
Six activists of Jubo Dal, Chhatra Dal and Swechchhasebak Dal were arrested from Kurigram on Monday.
Confirming the news, Kurigram Superintendent of Police Minhajul Alam said they had arrested the activists to prevent possible subversive activities ahead of the verdict in the Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case.
Eleven activists of Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh and BNP were arrested from Noakhali over allegations of their involvement in the planning of subversive activities.
They were arrested during drives in different areas of Noakhali on Monday.
Rangpur district unit BNP claimed at least 12 activists were arrested from Rangpur over the last two days.
Rangpur BNP President Saiful Islam alleged that police had conducted unwarranted searches at the houses of BNP activists and had threatened their family members as well.
Thirteen BNP leaders and activists were held in Bogra on Monday, on charges of planning subversive activities.
This adds to the arrest of 26 leaders and activists durirng overnight drives on Saturday and Sunday.
Eleven leaders and activists of BNP and its affiliated organizations were held from Hizla upazila of Barisal on Monday.
Hizla police station Officer-in-Charge Maksudur Rahman said all the arrestees were the accused in different cases.
Twenty-nine activists of BNP and Jamaat were held from different upazilas of Comilla on Monday.
According to police sources, the arrests were made in connection with subversive activities.
Six Islami Chhatra Shibir activists were held from Naohata Government Primary School in Poba upazila of Rajshahi on Monday afternoon.
Poba police station Officer-in-Charge Hasmot Ali said police conducted a drive at the school acting on a tip-off that 30-40 Shibir activists were holding a secret meeting at the school.
Although six of the activists were captured, the rest of the participants at the meeting managed to flee the scene.
During primary interrogation, the arrestees admitted that they were planning subversive activities ahead of the verdict in the Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case.