Police raid Khaleda Zia’s Gulshan office; nothing found

20 May 2017, 08:49 | updated: 20 May 2017, 19:57

NTV Online

Dhaka: Police conducted a two-hour raid on Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) Chairperson Khaleda Zia's Gulshan office here on Saturday morning, but there was no recovery of any 'objectionable' document.

Police said they carried out the drive following a search warrant issued by a court, to find out whether there is any anti-state document in it.

However, BNP alleged that it was done acting on a general diary filed by unknown persons. It also said the motive behind the drive is to harass Khaleda Zia mentally and undermine her.

The drive that began at 7:30am came to an end at about 9:30am. Officials of Dhaka Metropolitan Police DMP, DB and Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) took part in the raid.

Asked about the reason behind the raid, Gulshan Police Station officer-in-charge Abu Bakar Siddique said police, following a search warrant issued by the court, carried out it to find out whether there is any anti-state document in the BNP chairperson's office.

However, police sources said they had information that a truck carrying books, stickers and objectionable documents entered Khaleda's office two days back, and the drive was conducted to seize those.

Police first blocked the two entry points of Road No 86 around 7am and then cordoned off Khaleda Zia's office, said Sohrab, a staff of the office.

He said the law enforcers started the raid at about 7:30am as they entered the office by breaking its main gate lock.

"Entering the office, they first took away mobile phones from me and three other staff, and then searched different rooms on the ground and 1st floors of it," Sohrab said.

Another office staff, wishing anonymity, said police vigorously searched room No 9 on the ground floor. "They didn't take any document or paper, but took photos and videos of some documents on their cellphones."

Though police searched the 1st floor, they did not enter Khaleda Zia's room, he said adding that the law enforcers turned off the CCTV cameras after stepping into the office.

Informed about the raid, BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi entered the office at about 8:45am. Minutes later, BNP joint secretary general Habib-un-Nabi Khan Sohel also appeared there.

The law enforcers came out of the office at about 9:30pm ending their drive, but declined to talk to the media about the raid and its outcome. They also withdrew their barricade from the road at about 10:00am.

Contacted after the drive, Gulshan OC Abu Bakar Siddique said they did not get any such document for which they conducted the raid.

Terming the raid a deep-rooted conspiracy against BNP, Rizvi said police conducted the drive to make Khaleda Zia upset mentally centring an anonymous General Diary (GD).

Rizvi also said police gave a written statement mentioning that their search result is zero.

Habib-un-Nabi Khan Sohel showed journalists a copy of the GD filed at 7:05am with Gulshan Police Station on Friday.

The GD reads it was learned that anti-state stickers and other documents and objects have been stocked at house number 6 and its adjacent house at road 86 in Gulshan-2 to carry out subversive acts and break the law and order situation. But, Khaleda's office name was not mentioned there.

As the police left the spot, BNP leaders and activists gathered in front of the office and staged a demonstration protesting the surprise drive.

Later, at a programme, Rizvi announced that their party will stage demonstrations across the country on Sunday in protest against the raid.

He said the raid was unfair and cowardly one, and it was carried out as part of the government's a 'deep-rooted conspiracy'.