Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, the secretary general of Bangladesh’s main opposition party, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), was detained by authorities on Sunday, October 29, 2023, a day after giant protests against the prime minister ahead of elections due in three months.
His detention came after a day of protests in the capital, Dhaka, where hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets to demand the resignation of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. The protests turned violent at times, with one police constable killed and over 200 people injured.
Alamgir was detained from his residence in Dhaka’s affluent Gulshan area around 9.30 AM on Sunday. The police also confiscated hard disks from Alamgir’s house during the operation.
The police have said that Alamgir is being detained for questioning over violence that broke out during Saturday’s protests. However, the BNP has accused the government of using the protests as a pretext to crackdown on the opposition.
Alamgir’s detention is the latest in a series of measures taken by the government to stifle dissent. The government has also cracked down on the media and civil society groups.
The opposition has accused the government of becoming increasingly authoritarian and of undermining democracy. The government has denied these allegations.
The detention of Alamgir is a worrying development for democracy in Bangladesh. It is important for the government to respect the right to peaceful protest and to allow the opposition to operate freely.