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Security around Khaleda Zia’s office stepped up after protests

Security around Khaleda Zia’s office stepped up after protests
The security around Bangladesh Opposition chief Khaleda Zia’s office has been stepped up after hundreds of pro-government activists tried to besiege the building demanding withdrawal of the ongoing nation-wide blockade.

Workers have erected a barbed-wire fence on top of two boundary walls of Gulshan, the office of the 69-year-old former premier.

Activists of the ruling Awami League’s labour front Sramik League marched to Zia’s Gulshan office demanding withdrawal of the over month-long blockade.

They have threatened to break into the office if their demands are not met.

“Begum Khaleda Zia, you still have time, kindly withdraw the blockade and shutdown. If you do not respond, our people will barge into your office. You will not be able to stop them,” Sramik League General Secretary Sirajul Islam said.

Earlier in February, labourers, students and transport worker groups have held demonstrations in front of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party chief’s office demanding to lift the blockade. Hundreds of members and leaders of Jatiya Sramik League, a national trade union federation, marched toward Zia’s office.

At one point, they faced obstruction from police and staged demonstration on the street in protest of violence during shutdown and blockade. Sramik League President Shukkur Mahmud said, “You (Khaleda Zia) still have time to stop this destructive politics. Otherwise you will be facing dire consequences.”

Zia’s office has been the site of several demonstrations by students, guardians and political parties against violent shutdowns and blockade that she has called.

The security around her home has been increased following the protests.

“(Now) anyone can jump over the wall. That’s why this barbed-wire fence is being raised in the interest of security,” Zia’s security officer was quoted as saying by bdnews. Zia is staying at her office since January 3, when police obstructed her from coming out there.

Uniformed and plainclothes police remained deployed around Khaleda office. The violence, that has claimed over 100 lives so far, is the result of a nationwide blockade called by the opposition to pressurise PM Sheikh Hasina to resign.



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