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BNP calls shutdown for Wednesday protesting against attack on Khaleda Zia

56The BNP has called a shutdown throughout Bangladesh for Wednesday in protest against Monday’s attack on party chief Khaleda Zia in Dhaka.

Standing Committee Member Moudud Ahmed announced the programme at a press conference at the BNP’s Naya Paltan headquarters in the evening.

Dhaka and Chittagong city corporations, which go to polls on Apr 28, have been exempted from the general strike.

Khaleda came under attack when she was campaigning for party-endorsed candidates for Dhaka.

She escaped unharmed but her vehicle was damaged.

The BNP and its allies had boycotted the 2014 general elections but have endorsed candidates for the crucial city polls.

The last mayors of the port city and undivided Dhaka City were backed by the BNP.

Moudud also called for countryside agitation for Tuesday to protest Monday’s attack.

Minutes after the announcement, several improvised bombs were exploded at Naya Paltan and the Nightingale intersection near the BNP headquarters.

Moudud alleged ruling Awami League’s student front Bangladesh Chhatra League orchestrated the assault on Khaleda with police assistance.

But police denied the allegation and said none of the attackers could be identified.

“This was a planned attack to eliminate the BNP chairperson,” the BNP leader claimed.

He also questioned withdrawal of police security from Khaleda’s residence after she joined the city polls campaign by relaxing her anti-government agitation.

The former prime minister currently holds no position that entitles her to police protection.

Police personnel posted at her home were withdrawn on Monday morning.

Ruling party activists obstructed her during a campaign at Uttara on Sunday. Calm was restored after police intervention

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has asked the people to question the BNP chief about her ‘acts of violence’ wherever she goes.

More than 120 people were killed and thousands injured, mostly in arson, during the BNP-led alliance’s indefinite blockade starting in January.

Khaleda has been named in several cases as the instigator of the violence across Bangladesh.

Moudud said the attack on Khaleda was “provocative”.

“The government’s ‘provocative statements’ and the removal of police security prove that the attack on Khaleda was planned,” he alleged.