Amidst continued violence and heightened political tensions, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) called for a 48-hour hartal or general strike in Dhaka and Khulna, south of the capital, on January 21-23. The strike action, meant to shut down the capital, began on January 21 at 06:00 (local time). The BNP’s Joint Secretary General, Ruhul Kabir Rizvi, reportedly stated that the hartal was in response to killings and disappearances, along with the harassment and arrest of opposition politicians by the government. On January 20, reports indicated that a Dhaka court issued warrants for the arrest of BNP Vice-Chairman Tarique Rahman and Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir. Unconfirmed reports indicate that the Jatiotabadi Chatra Dal (JCD), the BNP’s student wing, called for a similar general strike in Dhaka on January 21-23. They are protesting the killing Nuruzzaman Jony, a group leader, during a shootout with police on January 20 in Jorapukur Maath. He was wanted for targeting a police bus with Molotov cocktails on January 17. Protests are also scheduled at universities.
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