BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir has accused the police of attempting to "cover up" their "failures" by blaming the BNP and hiding the Awami League, Jubo League and Chattra League leaders and activists involved in the recent clashes between students and shop owners in the capital's New Market area.
The party will stage rallies in all metropolitan cities, including in the capital, on 26 April (Tuesday), for the release of arrested BNP leader Makbul Hossain and the withdrawal of "false cases" filed by police in connection with the clashes.
BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir made the remarks and announced the programme at a press conference at the party chairperson's Gulshan office on Saturday.
He said the programme was taken at a virtual meeting of the party standing committee held on Friday.
Fakhrul said their meeting also decided to form a three-member probe committee to unearth the real truth by investigating the incidents of violence in the New Market area.
He said the BNP standing committee strongly demanded the arrest of the real perpetrators by releasing Makbul and withdrawal of the false cases filed with a "political motive."
At least 40 people were injured as a group of Dhaka College students and shopkeepers in the New Market area fought pitched battles Tuesday following a brawl at a fast food shop on Monday night.
Later, two injured people -- computer accessories delivery man Nahid Hasan and shop employee Morsalin -- died at Dhaka Medical College Hospital on Tuesday and early Thursday.
Four cases were filed in connection with the violence while police on Friday arrested former New Market thana BNP President Makbul Hossain in one of the cases on charges of obstructing police in performing duties, assaulting law enforcement officers, and damaging property during the clashes.
Fakhrul alleged that the cases were filed against 1,200 people, including 24 leaders of BNP and its associate bodies, instead of arresting the real offenders. "BNP strongly protests and expresses anger over it."
He said it has been proved through different media reports that the "cadres" of Chhatra League were involved in the violence.