Police stop BNP, allies
Friday, 22 August 2008

Submitting memo to CA

Desk Report

The police Thursday stopped the BNP-led four-party alliance submitting a memorandum to the chief adviser at his office in the capital.

Contingents of police hemmed in the alliance leaders and workers gathered on the NAM flats premises from morning to 1:00pm by putting up barricades all around.
"The inimically behaving government must have some ulterior motive for stopping us from seeing the chief adviser in the most peaceful and regular manner," BNP secretary-general Delwar Hossain said at his NAM flat home.
Delwar then presented the 18-point charter of demands, drafted to be submitted to the chief adviser, to the reporters.
The demands include unconditional release of BNP chief Khaleda Zia, sending her elder son Tarique Rahman abroad for treatment, staging parliamentary polls first, lifting emergency, curbing price hike of essential, halting arrests and 'harassment', release of all political prisoners and thwarting 'a special quarter's interference in political and electoral processes'.
The secretaries-general of the four parties met at Delwar's at 10:00am after the Dhaka city police warned them Wednesday not to march to the CA's office, saying that would amount to violating the emergency powers rules.
Over 100 adherents of BNP and its front organisations assembled at the NAM flats premises since morning to make the planned march successful.
They chanted slogans for the release of Khaleda. Platoons of policemen took position in front of the accesses to the flats. The riot police deployed water cannons outside the main entrance.
As a number of alliance stalwarts including Jama'at-e-Islami secretary-general Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid, Islami Oikyo Jote secretary-general Abdul Latif Nezami, Jatiya Party secretary general Shamim Al Mamun, and BNP's MK Anwar and Selima Rahman led by Delwar approached the main gate, police put up barricades foiling their advance.
A police officer told them they would not be allowed to proceed any further as that would be regarded as 'breaching the emergency powers rules'.
Delwar and other alliance leaders then spoke to the media staying within the NAM flats bounds.
The BNP secretary-general decried the police stance and alleged 'the government was clearly in favour of all the Awami League moves'.
"While others are allowed to submit memoranda, BNP has been barred," he said.
He called upon everyone to observe August 27 as 'the 18-point demands day' throughout the country by forming human chains.

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