Tension has gripped the country over a possible face-off between the ruling Awami League and the main opposition BNP, as both parties have planned for rallies on Friday in four cities, including capital Dhaka. Amid the escalating tension over the programmes and counter-programmes of the rival political parties, Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) troops have been deployed in Dhaka, Narayanganj, Chittagong, Sylhet and Rajshahi to fend off any untoward incident.
On October 10, BNP announced to hold a rally in the capital on October 25 (tomorrow) saying that its Chairperson Khaleda Zia would spell out the party’s next course of action to realise its demand for caretaker government. Five days ahead of the anti-government rally in the capital, Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) on October 19 imposed an indefinite ban on holding meetings, processions and rallies in Dhaka metropolitan area from October 20.
The authorities in Chittagong on Wednesday prohibited all kinds of meeting, rally and gathering in the port city from 6 am on Thursday as the local unit of ruling Awami League and that of the main opposition BNP called for rallies at Laldighi Maidan in the city from October 24 to 26, triggering the fear of political confrontation.
In Khulna and Barisal cities, the same kind of restriction was imposed apprehending trouble over the political programmes of the ruling Awami League and the opposition BNP as they called meetings at the same venues for Friday.
Besides, a 48-hour ban was imposed on all meetings and rallies in Bogra municipality area after the Awami League and the BNP decided to hold rallies at the same venue. Meanwhile, local administrations imposed section 144 in some areas of Comilla, Sirajganj, Narayanganj, Joypurhat and Panchagarh districts for the same reason.
Despite the ban, BNP vowed to hold its scheduled rally in the capital on Friday at any cost. By the time, Dhaka Metropolitan Police on Thursday finally permitted the BNP-led 18-party alliance to hold its rally at Suhrawardy Udyan on Friday on some conditions. Minutes after the DMP allowed the opposition BNP to hold its rally at Suhrawardy Udyan, the party has asked for clearance to hold it in front of its Nayapaltan headquarters. BNP alleged that police arrested several thousand opposition leaders and activists across the country in the last few days ahead of its rallies planned for tomorrow.
According to reports reaching the UNB news desk, law-enforcers arrested over 100 BNP and Jamaat-Shibir activists from Comilla, Narayanganj – UNB