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BNP, allies call 48-hour hartal July 6-7

Staff Correspondent: Main opposition BNP and its key ally Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami on Sunday called a 48-hour countrywide hartal (general strike) from 6.00am on Wednesday in protest against the abolition of the caretaker government system.

The two parties have also called the hartal protesting deletion of the phrase “absolute faith in the Almighty Allah” from the constitution and abolition of the provision of maintaining good relations with the Muslim world.

The other issues include price hike of essentials, deterioration in law and order situation, government’s failure to resolve gas, electricity and water crises and make the share market stable.

The hartal will begin at 6:00am on Wednesday and end at 6:00am on Friday.

On Thursday, parliament passed the Constitution (15th Amendment) Bill, scrapping the caretaker government system.

BNP, for the first time, is going on the 48-hour hartal against the AL government during its two and half-year tenure. Earlier, BNP and Jamaat observed a 36-hour hartal on June 12 and 13.

BNP acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir announced the hartal at a press conference held at the party’s Naya Paltan central office.

He said they called the hartal to protest the scrapping of the caretaker government system and crises of power, gas and water, deterioration in law and order situation and share market scam.

“As the 15th amendment to the constitution has pushed the nation towards conflicts and confrontations, the government will have to shoulder all responsibilities if any untoward incident takes place centring the issue.” He asked the government to cancel the 15th amendment to the constitution to hold free, fair and acceptable general elections under the existing caretaker system.

“The government has written a black chapter in the history of the country by passing the 15th amendment bill unilaterally in parliament.”

The BNP leader said autocratic and fascist attitude of the ruling Awami League-led grand alliance had been unveiled before the nation as it had passed the constitution, ignoring the opposition as well as people.

BNP standing committee members MK Anwar and Nazrul Islam Khan, vice-chairman Abdullah Al Noman and finance secretary Abdus Salam were also present at the press briefing.

Jamaat-e-Islami at another press conference, held at the party’s Moghbazar central office in the afternoon, called the 48-hour hartal to press home its demands and protest the abolition of the provision of the caretaker system.

Jamaat acting secretary general ATM Azharul Islam who announced the hartal demanded immediate release of detained Jamaat leaders, Matiur Rahman Nizami, Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojahid, Delwar Hossain Sayedee, M Kamaruzzaman and Abdul Quader Molla.

Party’s central leaders Hafizur Rahman, Rafiqul Islam Khan, Abdullah Md Taher, Hamidur Rahman Azad MP, Mahbubul Islam were also present at the press conference.

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