At least 200 people have been arrested in the cases filed over Hefazat-e-Islam's recent violent protest across the country and half the arrestees are BNP's leaders and activists, according to sources in police and the party.
The Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) arrested BNP executive committee member Nipun Roy Chowdhury over charges of vandalism and setting fire to several buses in Jatrabari and Malibagh on 28 March, according to the case statement.
The Chattogram Metropolitan Police also arrested BNP city unit Convener Shahadat Hossain Chowdhury and 17 BNP men for bringing out a procession supporting hartal the same day.
The law enforcement agencies accused the BNP leaders of masterminding the violence in those cases.
More than 20,000 people, including 300 identified ones, have been sued in at least 36 cases so far over the series of violent protests carried out by Hefazat-e-Islam in several districts, but no top Hefazat leader was accused in any of them.
Many cases do not even mention any mastermind of the violence. In most of the cases law enforcing agencies did not mention any name of Hefazat-e-Islam.
Inspector General of Police (IGP) Benazir Ahmed said, "The top leaders of Hefazat-e-Islam Bangladesh have not been named in any of the cases filed over recent mayhem as they were not seen on the spots of the clashes."
"But if Hefazat's top leaders are found involved after the investigation, legal action will definitely be taken against them," the police chief told reporters at the Combined Military Hospital in Dhaka on Wednesday.
Benazir Ahmed further said, "Action will be taken against the instigators. The attacks stained the Golden Jubilee of Bangladesh's Independence."
Sources at the Police Headquarters said the IGP and a team of top police officials are going to visit Brahmanbaria on Thursday.
Meanwhile, some 3,200 unnamed people have been accused in Seven cases filed over Hefazat's mayhem in Chattogram's Hathazari and Patiya areas, but no Hefazat leaders or activists were mentioned in any of them.
"The cases were filed on Tuesday night with Hathazari police station," Additional Superintendent of Police (Hathazari Circle) Moshiudoula Reza told The Business Standard.
Besides, police have filed four separate cases over the attack on Hathazari police station, obstructing police duties, beating of policemen and arson attack.
The office of Assistant Commissioner (land) was also partially damaged during the violence, when Hefazat activists allegedly vandalised and set fire to the government establishment.
Hathazari Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) Ruhul Amin said, "Students of Hathazari madrasa have caused irreparable damage to the people of Hathazari by setting fire to the land office."
BNP Publicity Affairs Secretary and former lawmaker Shahid Uddin Chowdhury Annie told the Business Standard that leaders and activists of BNP were not involved in any violence during the hartal.
"Police accused BNP's leader and activists intentionally. We just participated in the hartal as it was logical. More than a hundred of our leaders and activists were arrested across the country," he added.
At least 14 people were killed, hundreds injured and government and private properties were damaged as the Islamist group locked into sporadic clashes with law enforcement agencies from Friday to Sunday in Chattogram, Brahmanbaria, Dhaka and Narayanganj during their protests and hartal over Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bangladesh visit.