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Khaleda announces non-stop blockade

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She slams govt Staff reporter Failing to come out of her office to join her alliance’s planned rally in the city, BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia on Monday said a countrywide blockade will continue until they come up with a fresh decision. She made the announcement while talking to reporters on her Gulshan office premises yesterday afternoon. Clarifying the matter, BNP joint general secretary Ruhul Kabir Rizvi, who is undergoing treatment at a city hospital under police custody, told over phone that an indefinite road-rail-waterway blockade got underway with Khaleda’s announcement. Reiterating that she has been confined to her office, Khaleda posed a question as to why so many policemen are around her office if she is not confined. Noting that they wanted to hold a ‘peaceful’ rally marking the “Democracy Killing Day” today, the BNP chief said all know why she was confined and why the rally was not allowed to be held. Khaleda also claimed that not only she but also the whole country is now confined. “The repressive government has turned the entire country into a jail. If I’m not confined, why the government did not allow many prominent personalities, including former President Prof AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury, to meet me?” Terming the government ‘unelected’ one, the BNP chairperson she said it came to power in a ‘voter-less’ election boycotted by the country’s people. The BNP chief also claimed that there’s are no basic rights, human rights, good governance and the rule of law in the country as the this illegal government made it a ‘police state’. Turning to the government’s claim that police were providing security to her as per her request, Khaleda said the government did not provide any security when needed. “But when we want to hold any rally, they block it in the name of providing security. What type of security is this?” Alleging that the government is trying to suppress the country’s people by resorting to bullets and teargas, filing ‘false’ cases and launching attacks, she said it made Bangladesh a police country. “Is a warlike situation is prevailing in the country?” Earlier, police barred the BNP chief from coming out of the office, where she remained confined since Saturday night. Khaleda came down to the main gate of the office around 3:48pm in her bid to get out of it, but she could not as police kept the gate under lock and key. Meanwhile, aggrieved BNP leaders and activists on the office premises chanted various slogans against the government. As they started hitting the gate in an apparent bid to break it open, police used pepper spray to disperse them. Besides, BNP chairperson’s special assistant Shimul Biswas alleged that the government has resorted to falsehood about Khaleda’s confinement. Speaking at the office premises, he said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday said Khaleda Zia was not confined and his State Minister for Home Asaduzzaman Kamal also claimed so. “But, Khaleda Zia is not being allowed to come out of her office.” Shimul Biswas also alleged that the government wants to establish a one-party rule undercover of democracy. He said the BNP chief urged the country’s people to continue the movement against the government. Police confined the BNP chief to her Gulshan political office around 11:30pm on Saturday, forcing her to spend two consecutive nights there. A number of vehicles, including sand-and-brick-laden ones, have been kept at different locations around the office, restricting the movement of any mode of vehicle. Amid the escalating tensions, the Dhaka Metropolitan Police on Sunday imposed a ban on holding all types of public rally and gathering in the city from 5 pm today (Sunday) until further notice. But BNP expressed its firm stance to stage its planned rally today.