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30-hr hartal ends, fresh programme threatened

Staff Correspondent : countrywide 30-hour hartal, called by 12 Islamic and like-minded political parties, ended at Monday noon without major incidents in the capital as well as in the country although some incidents took place at different places, including Narayanganj, on the first day. Picketers were not seen on the streets in the capital and other cities of the country on the second day

Police were deployed at every strategic point of the capital and in other parts of the country while they did not allow any activity in support of the hartal. Visiting different points it was seen that the movement of vehicles was more in the roads of the capital than their movement of Sunday. Although the number of passenger buses was few before 10:00, their movement became normal gradually.

 Many educational institutions, private offices, shops, markets remained closed. But shops and markets were opened after mid-day. The supply of essential commodities, including vegetable, was inadequate due to the shutdown. Prices of essential commodities have increased that caused sufferings to the common people. Hartal was called protesting removal of “Absolute Trust and Faith in Almighty Allah” from the Constitution and demanding cancellation of National Education Policy ’10 and Women’s Development Policy ’11. BNP and its major ally Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami had extended their support to the 30-hour nonstop hartal. During the hartal hours, police cordoned the Purana Paltan’s office of Khelafat Majlish, where leaders and workers of 12 parties were trying to gather, but the police did not allow to enter or leave it. A contingent of police were also deployed in front of the BNP’s Nayapaltan central office. They cordoned it. Mobile courts remained active in some parts of the capital and other cities to thwart picketing and ensure public security. At the end of the hartal, the parties announced fresh agitation programme. They will stage demonstration across the country on Friday and hold a rally in the capital. They also announced that they would launch next course of action from the Friday’s rally, which will be held after Juma prayers, in front of Baitul Mukarram National Mosque. The 12 parties claimed that over 2,000 leaders and workers were arrested during the 30-hour hartal while over 1,000 injured at the police action and clashes with the ruling partymen. Addressing a post hartal press briefing at Khelafat Majlish office, the party nayebe ameer Maulana Abdur Rab Yususfi said the countrymen observed the hartal spontaneously. Thanking the countrymen, he said the people rejected secularism and mandated in favour of “Absolute Trust and Faith in Almighty Allah” in the Constitution. Leaders of the 12 parties present at the briefing were: ameer-e-shariyat of Khelafat Andolon Maulana Shah Ahmad Ullah Ashraf, secretary general of Nejame Islam Party Maulana Abdul Latif Nejami, secretary general of National Democratic Party Alamgir Majumder and joint secretary of Sammilito Ulema Mashayekh Parishad (SUMP) Dr Maulana Khalilur Rahman Madani. They called upon the government to meet their demand, otherwise they warned of launching tougher programme soon. They alleged that the hartal supporters could not bring out procession due to obstruction by the police although observing hartal was a democratic right of the people.

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