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BNP calls hartal in P’khali, S’ganj

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Staff Reporter Local BNP have called separate dawn-to-dusk hartals in Patuakhali and Sirajganj districts for Sunday protesting the arrest of local party men and filing cases against them. In Patuakhali, the shutdown program was announced through a press release singed by district unit organizing secretary Advocate Majibar Rahman Totan. The release said the daylong lockdown program will be observed in protest against the filing of a ‘false’ case against the BNP men. Police on Friday filed a case with Patuakhali Sadar Police Station against 84 BNP leaders and activists, including its district unit general secretary MA Rob, under the Explosive Substances Act on charge of vandalizing three vehicles. In Sirajganj, district BNP president Iqbal Hasan Mahmud, also an adviser to the BNP chairperson, announced the hartal on Saturday noon protesting the arrest and attack on BNP activists. Witnesses said the BNP men brought out a rally in the district town on Saturday morning in support of the nationwide indefinite blockade enforced by the 20-party alliance. As police obstructed the procession, the BNP activists threw brickbats at the law enforcers and blasted crude bombs. Police also fired teargas shells and rubber bullets to bring the situation under control. At one stage, local activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League and Jubo League swooped on the BNP men, leaving 10 injured. Police also arrested seven BNP activists from the spot. The officer-in-charge of Sirajganj Sadar Police Station confirmed the incident.