June 18, 2013 | 11:44 AM (BD Time)
18 June, 2013 Tuesday
Hartal progressing peacefully in CHT ; Khaleda, Ershad both in Singapore ; 18-party to stage demo countrywide on June 22 ; Atiqul Haque Chowdhury passes away
Govt’s indiscriminate arrest, bus torching by opposition hurt average citizens
People frustrated to see same old tactics
. Staff Reporter
The torching of 13 motor vehicles on the eve of hartal on Wednesday and causing damage to 300 other motor vehicles in two days; continued arrest, police action on opposition leaders and workers preventing them from bringing out processions have made average people frustrated as they hardly see an escape from the same old tactics applied by two sides.
The fresh spate of hartal since late last month was spearheaded by the forced disappearance of BNP's organising secretary for Sylhet division Elias Ali on the 17th of that month. The filing of cases against senior leaders of the BNP-led 18-party alliance on charges of torching a bus near the Prime Minister's office, explosion of hand-made bombs inside the central Secretariat of the government, and refusal of bail to 33 senior leaders from both the High Court and the CMM court have worsened the situation.
A central leader of the Awami League told the BBC yesterday that arrests of political leaders was nothing new. Their leaders suffered similar arrest when the BNP-led government ruled the country from 2001 to 2006.
The president of the Supreme Court Bar Association Zainul Abedin yesterday complained that interference of the government prevented the courts from performing freely. Many senior members of the legal profession were of the opinion that the refusal of bail to the senior opposition leaders in cases that preclude possibilities of their direct involvement was unkind.
After another day of hartal yesterday, while the opposition keeps its threat of continuing movement that could again translate into calling of general strike, government ministers are openly saying that the workers of the AL would not remain bystanders and instead face the opposition on the street in case fresh hartal was called.
Conscientious people are of the view that the opposition could have attracted more sympathy of the average citizens, had they restrained their workers from setting fire to or damaging motor vehicles. In the same vein they are also strongly critical of the filing of cases against nearly most of the active central leaders of the BNP and its allies.
During hartal hours yesterday an attempt was made to torch a passenger train in Narsingdi while another passenger train was derailed at Ishurdi and more than a dozen passengers were injured as they ran out in panic. In Dhaka city some handmade bombs were hurled towards a BRTC bus near the Mirpur No 10 intersection in the morning.
Police resorted to lathi-charge injuring many opposition political activists across the country. In Dhaka city former Mayor of Rajshahi City Corporation Mizanur Rahman Minu was injured in police beating as he tried to rescue Khairul Kabir Khokan from police arrest. More than a hundred opposition activists were arrested on the day.
The aura of intolerance in politics has created panic in the minds of the people. The average citizens are tired and want a way out of this.
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