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Khaleda asks govt not to resist Mar 12 rally

Orders partymen to keep peace at any cost

Staff Correspondent

The Bangladesh Nationalist Party chairperson, Khaleda Zia, on Friday warned the government saying that the party would have no option but wage a tougher movement if the march towards Dhaka the opposition would hold on March 12 was resisted.
She also ordered party leaders and activists to keep peace at any cost and to avoid any confrontation, clash or provocation during the march.
Khaleda in a statement called on the people to make the programme successful peacefully by thwarting all obstructions and conspiracies. She warned the government not to endanger democracy by obstructing the programme, inviting confrontation or carrying out acts of sabotage.
She asked employees of the republic, including law enforcement agencies, to abstain from obstructing the peaceful programme at illegal and unjust orders of the government and help the people to exercise their constitutional rights.
Khaleda said that putting obstacles to the programme, inviting confrontation or indulging in acts of subversion would endanger democracy and its consequence would not be good.
She warned the government that her party would have no option left if the programme was obstructed. ‘There is a limit to patience. People are getting impatient… So I urge an immediate end to all evil activities and help in holding the programme peacefully,’ she said.
‘You earlier fired into people in places and took their lives. Even then, we did not go for any tougher programme,’ she said.
‘From the very beginning, we have been saying that the programme of March 12 will be peaceful. We have proved that how peaceful a programme joined in by thousands of people could be in our rallies and road marches in the past. We do not believe in violence and chaos and we want to set the instance
once again with the March 12 programme,’ she said.
Khaleda said that the government had initially announced that it would not obstruct the opposition programme but had become puzzled later at the overwhelming support the people extended fro the programme.
She said that the programme was no more a party programme and it had, rather, turned into a programme of the people and this had panicked the government panicked. ‘The government is desperate about saving itself using the state machinery and muscle power.’
She accused ruling party leaders and activists of spreading panic in all spheres across the country in a planned way against the march towards Dhaka.
The government has also ordered a blanket arrest of opposition activists by raiding their houses, workplaces and party offices, openly threatening to stop Dhaka-bound people with ruling party goons and law enforcement agencies, she said.
Khaleda, also a former prime minister, said that ruling party goons were threatening people not to join the programme and even ruling party leaders were openly demanding a ban on the programme.
‘Totally illegal administrative orders have been issued to keep all hotels and food shops in the capital closed during the programme. People have been threatened with punishment by controversial mobile courts. The local administration instructed vehicle owners not to rent their vehicles out to the participants of the programme,’ she said.
Khaleda demanded an immediate release of all citizens and party activists arrested centring on the march so that they could participate in the programme as it was the constitutional and democratic right of all citizens and political parties to hold a peaceful rally and participate in it.

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