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Opposition extends blockade till Fri morning

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Staff Reporter
The BNP-led 18-party alliance on Monday extended its ongoing 72-hour road-rail-waterway blockade program by another 72-hour till 6 am on Friday as the government did not retreat from its plan to hold the next election under a partisan administration.
BNP joint secretary general Salauddin Ahmed made the announcement through a video message sent from an undisclosed location.
With the extension of the 72-hour, the third spell of the opposition’ s blockade turned into 144-hour one.
Salauddin said, “The blockade that began at 6am on Saturday was scheduled to end at 6am on Tuesday. As the government is yet to accept our demand for arranging the next general election under a non-party administration and cancel the election schedule it has been extended unit 6am on Friday.”
He said the government is running the country resorting to repressive acts, ignoring the mass demand for caretaker government. “The government is carrying out attacks on the opposition leaders and activists and arresting them. Under the circumstances, we announce to extend the road-rail-waterway blockade programme.”
Besides, he said, the 18-pary will arrange gayebana janaza across the country seeking salvation of the departed souls of those alliance leaders and activists killed by law enforcers and ‘ruling party men during the current blockade program.
The janaza will be held in all cities, district towns and upazila headquarters on Friday after jum’a prayers.
In the capital, the gayebana janaza will be held in front of BNP’s Nayapaltan central office.
Besides, the opposition alliance will also stage demonstrations in all district towns and upazila headquarters on Sunday (Dec 15).
The opposition will also hold separate discussions on December 14 and December 16, marking the Martyred Intellectuals Day and Victory Day respectively.
Earlier, coinciding the three-day national mourning for Nelson Mandela, the BNP-led 18-party alliance enforced its fresh spell of 72-hour road-rail-waterway blockade across the country at 6am on Saturday demanding that the next national election be arranged under a non-party government.
The 18-party earlier enforced 202 hours of road-rail-waterway blockade across the country in two spells --71-hour and 131-hour ones -- after the announcement of the election schedule for the 10th parliamentary elections that left at least 47 people dead.
Hot on the heels of its countrywide 131-hour blockade program protesting the election schedule, BNP joint secretary general Salauddin Ahmed on Thursday announced the 72-hour nationwide blockade through a video message sent from an undisclosed location.
Earlier, the opposition alliance called a nonstop 131-hour second spell of blockade that ended at 5pm on Thursday.
On November 30, the alliance first enforced a 72-hour blockade from 6:00am December 1, which was later extended by 59 hours till 5pm today (Thursday) for pushing the same demand.
The 131-hour blockade was marked by violent incidents of clashes, bomb blasts, vandalism and arson attacks on buses and railways across the country, leaving at least 26 people.
The opposition combine enforced the first spell of 48-hour road-rail-waterway blockade 6m on November 26 protesting the announcement of the schedule for the 10th parliamentary polls.
However, the alliance later extended it by 23 hours that ended at 5am on November 29 amid widespread violent incidents, leaving at least 19 people dead, including three students who along with 15 others suffered severe burn injures as miscreants set fire to a passenger-packed bus at Shahbagh in the capital.
There had been violent incidents like vandalizing and torching of vehicles, clashes between blockade supporters and police and ruling party activists, arrest of opposition leaders and activists and crude bomb blasts allover the country, including the capital, injuring over a 1,000 people and damaging several hundred vehicles.
On November 25, the Chief Election Commissioner announced that the 10th parliamentary elections will be held on January 5 next.

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