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BNP leader Mirza Fakhrul, 6 others make 'special' bail plea

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Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir and Mirza Abbas are among seven BNP leaders who have applied for bail in a case over the violent clashes outside the party headquarters in Dhaka's Naya Paltan on Dec 7.

A special petition was submitted to the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate's Court on Sunday and a hearing could take place later in the day, according to their lawyer, Zainul Abedin.

The other bail-seekers are the BNP's Publicity Secretary Shahiduddin Chowdhury Annie, Dhaka Metropolitan South Convener Abdus Salam, former organising secretary Fazlul Haque Milon, Joint Secretary General Khairul Kabir Khokon and former MP Selim Reza Habib.

The five were arrested on Dec 7 in the wake of a clash between BNP activists and law enforcers. The party's Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul and Standing Committee member Abbas were arrested two days later on charges of plotting and inciting attacks on the police. A court later sent them to jail after turning down their bail pleas.

In order to re-apply for bail within seven days of a petition being rejected, a special application has to be filed, said Advocate Abedin. "We have submitted [the special application]. The chief metropolitan magistrate himself may conduct a hearing or delegate it to another magistrate. The hearing could take place on Sunday or [the magistrates] could fix another date."

The clashes broke out when a gathering of BNP loyalists outside the party's central offices ahead of its antigovernment rally on Dec 10 turned violent. Police fired teargas shells and charged with batons to disperse the crowds as several rounds of crude bomb explosions rang out in the area.

A BNP activist died while police claimed that more than 50 law enforcers were injured.

Police later started three cases against up to 2,000 people over the incident. They also cordoned off the party office, declaring it a 'crime zone' after reportedly finding improvised explosives on the premises.

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