Published: Monday, May 6, 2013

Protest over 'govt crackdown' on Hefajat men

18-party calls hartal for May 8, 9

The BNP-led 18-party alliance has called countrywide daylong hartal (shutdown) for Wednesday and Thursday protesting the “government crackdown” on the activists of Hefajat-e Islam.

The shutdown will be enforced from 6:00am to 6:00pm on May 8 and 9.

The decision was taken during a meeting of 18-party alliance held at BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia’s Gulshan residence Monday night, sources close to the party told The Daily Star.

Sadeque Hossain Khoka, vice-chairman of the BNP, after the meeting told reporters that they will formally announce the shutdown during a press briefing at the party’s central office in Nayapaltan of the capital on Tuesday.

The BNP leader also said a Gayebana Janaza (funeral prayers) will also be held in front of the party headquarters after Asar prayers Tuesday.

The law enforcers flushed out thousands of activists of Hefajat, a Qawmi madrasa-based Islamist organisation, from the capital’s downtown Motijheel early Monday while they took position there after a post-blockade rally on Sunday.

During yesterday’s Dhaka siege programme, the Hefajat men unleashed mayhem in the capital, leaving at least eight people dead.