Three top women leaders of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), Bangladesh’s main opposition party, were arrested on the second day of the ’democracy march’ on Monday, as clashes erupted inside the Supreme Court premises between pro and anti-government lawyers.
BNP Vice Chairman Selima Rahman, MP Rasheda Begum Heera and ex-MP Newaz Halima were detained in front of the former prime minister Khaleda Zia’s residence in Dhaka which was virtually sieged by riot police.
The three reached Ms. Zia’s home on foot and asked the police to allow them to go inside, local media reported. Moments later, police escorted them and took them to a police station.
Meanwhile, police said that in a predawn raid they have arrested three suspected opposition activists from a house and seized more than 200 homemade bombs which were believed to be manufactured there to be used during protests.
Several senior BNP leaders have been detained in the past two weeks and many others visibly went underground.
Monday’s arrests came as a security blanket was thrown over Dhaka with troops guarding key points to secure them from the BNP-led opposition movement that threatens to continue until the elections are called off.
Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs) were positioned at areas deemed trouble spots while paramilitary Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) troops and anti-crime Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) forces patrolled the city streets.