B'desh police besiege Zia at office ahead of polls anniversary

Dhaka: Ahead of the first anniversary of the controversial elections which was boycotted by the opposition, police confined Bangladesh Nationalist Party chief Khaleda Zia, besieging her office here and forcing her to spend the night
b desh police besiege zia at office ahead of...
PTI 04 Jan 2015, 02:30 PM IST

Dhaka: Ahead of the first anniversary of the controversial elections which was boycotted by the opposition, police confined Bangladesh Nationalist Party chief Khaleda Zia, besieging her office here and forcing her to spend the night inside the building.

Zia, the former prime minister who refused to participate in what she branded a "farce" election, remained cordoned off inside her Gulshan office since last night with more police forces, including women police, deployed outside the building.

"She (Zia) had been barred by police from leaving the office...She had been confined (at her office) against her will," Zia's special assistant Shimul Biswas told reporters.

BNP had boycotted the polls, saying it was manipulated by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's government.

The party planned to mark the anniversary as "Democracy Killing Day" staging a grand rally in Dhaka tomorrow.

Witnesses said sand-laden trucks and police cars blocked the main entrance to her office virtually preventing anyone from leaving the building.

At least two big police trucks were deployed at each end of the roads to cut off the road route to Gulshan office.

Armoured trucks, water cannon and members of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) were also seen stationed nearby.

Zia did not appear before the newsmen and TV cameras at the office premises but TV footages showed a number of women leaders including Shireen Sultana, Sultana Ahmed, Rehana Akhter Ranu, Ashifa Ashrafi Papia with her this morning.

In a near simultaneous development last night, police also locked up the BNP headquarters at Naya Paltan area in central Dhaka removing the activists from the office and picking up BNP's joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi.

Police took an apparently ailing Rizvi to a private hospital in an ambulance where he was admitted for abdominal ailments while laying a siege around the two offices of BNP.

Early today, police also raided the Uttara residence of BNP acting Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir. However, he was not to be found, reports said.

The development came as the BNP-led 20-party alliance prepared for a massive gathering at Nayapaltan. The ruling Awami League also prepares to hold rallies at 16 points in the capital, raising fears of a face-off on the streets on the first anniversary of the January 5 polls.

 
   
 

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