BNP leaders and activists in the UK allegedly attacked Deputy Minister Arif Khan Joy yesterday afternoon near the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in Westminster.
Police arrested two persons in this connection, reports Bangla daily Prothom Alo.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is in London now to participate in the Commonwealth meeting.
BNP leaders and activists in London are holding protest rallies against the PM's visit everyday. Yesterday at around 3:30 local time, the premier joined a meeting of the heads of different countries at the conference centre while BNP leaders and activists were also holding a protest rally outside the venue. Next to the protesters, Awami League leaders and activists were also chanting slogans welcoming Hasina.
Witnesses said Joy was passing by some of the BNP protesters as he was entering the conference venue. Some of them made unpleasant comments. At one stage, he was also physically harassed.
He ran to nearby Barclays Bank for shelter. Some of the BNP leaders tried to protect him. In a social media video, it was seen that some BNP leaders were trying to protect Arif from agitators. Someone threw water on him. Arif was later rescued by police.
MA Malek, BNP president in the UK, admitted the incident. He told the Bangla daily that during their protest, Awami League leaders do not usually go near their events. “I don't understand why he would do that.” Malek said if they had not protected the deputy minister, the situation could have deteriorated. He said the names of the detainees are Maruf and Bappi.
UK General Secretary of AL Syed Sajidur Rahman Faruk said, “It's hard to describe the foul play staged by BNP in a foreign country.”