A security blanket was thrown over the Bangladesh capital for the second consecutive day on Monday, with troops guarding key points to secure them from a BNP-led opposition movement that threatens to continue until the January 5 elections are called off.
Police in riot gears continued to lay sieges around BNP chief and ex-prime minister Khaleda Zia's residence and her party's central here, a day after two persons were killed in clashes between opposition supporters and security forces.
Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs) were positioned at areas deemed trouble spots while paramilitary Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) troops and elite anti-crime Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) forces patrol the city streets.
Meanwhile, police said that in a predawn raid today they arrested three suspected opposition activists from a house here and seized more than 200 homemade bombs which were believed to be manufactured there to be used during protests.
In a press briefing, BNP yesterday announced it would stage non-stop sit-in protests like Mahatma Gandhi's Satyagraha across the country until the January 5 elections and vowed to stage the 'democracy march' today.
"We will protest (against the government's move) taking position on the roads, railways and waterways like Mahatma Gandhi's Satyagraha," BNP's vice president retired Major Hafizuddin Ahmed told reporters.
The announcement came hours after police prevented Zia from leaving her house to address a banned mass march.
He said the BNP-led 18-party opposition alliance activists would gather on the roads, railways and waterways until the polls were shelved while "our march for democracy (towards Dhaka) will continue tomorrow."
"This is not a new idea," Ahmed said, referring to Gandhi who had introduced the Satyagraha or nonviolent resistance to fight colonial British regime in India.
Shortly after the media briefing, police arrested Ahmed as he came out from the National Press Club. Earlier, police detained Zia's adviser Enam Ahmed Chowdhury.
Several senior BNP leaders have been detained in the past two weeks and many others visibly went underground.
Two people were killed in the capital yesterday with one being a railway security guard and other an activist of the BNP's ally Jamaat-e-Islami's student front.
Army troops which were called out three days ago to maintain peace and order ahead of the polls, kept a vigil from their makeshift camps.
The opposition is boycotting the polls and political violence during nationwide strikes by them have left over 120 people dead and crippled the economy since November.