BNP to hold rally even if denied permission
Mulls a string of action programmesStaff Correspondent
The Bangladesh Nationalist Party standing committee has decided that the opposition alliance would hold its June 11 rally at Naya Paltan even if the government did not give permission.
The standing committee at the meeting on Saturday night took the decision and discussed the party’s next course of action, two days before its rally in the city scheduled for Monday after its ‘ultimatum’ for restoration of the caretaker system expires today.
Party insiders said the two-and-a-half-hour meeting with party chairperson Khaleda Zia in the chair at her Gulshan office also weighed the idea of a string of political programmes, including a nationwide shutdown and road-rail blockade if their leaders were not freed from jail.
The High Court on Thursday granted bail to 30 leaders of the opposition alliance, including the acting BNP secretary general, Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, in an arson case.
The standing committee meeting followed a meeting of the ‘18-party’ alliance leaders with Khaleda Zia at the same place on Thursday.
The BNP-led ‘18-party’ alliance will hold a ‘grand’ rally in Dhaka on Monday after the expiry of the 90-day ‘ultimatum’ issued to the government by Khaleda Zia to accept the non-party caretaker provision.
Standing committee members RA Ghani, Moudud Ahmed, MK Anwar, Tariqul Islam, Mahbubur Rahman, Nazrul Islam Khan, Jamiruddin Sircar, Abdul Moyeen Khan, Sarwari Rahman and Rafiqul Islam Mia attended the meeting with Khaleda Zia in the chair.
Standing committee members Mosharraf Hossain, Mirza Abbas, ASM Hannan Shah and Gayeshwar Chandra Roy are behind bars in an arson case.
Standing committee member Shamsul Islam could not attend the meeting on account of illness.
Standing committee member Tariqul Islam, who has apparently been acting as the BNP spokesperson since the party senior leaders were arrested, earlier in the day, said that the government would be responsible for any situation that might arise if the authorities did not give permission for the rally.
He said the party on May 24 had applied to the National Sports Council seeking permission for using the Paltan ground and written to the Dhaka Metropolitan Police for using either Manik Mia Avenue or Naya Paltan,’ Tariqul told a media briefing at the party’s Naya Paltan central office.
‘But the authorities are yet to give permission for the rally at any of the proposed venues,’ said Tariqul adding, ‘We are determined to hold the rally even if the government does not give permission.’
He said some 30 per cent of the party activists had already reached Dhaka to attend the June 11 rally.
Accusing the government of plotting to obstruct the June 11 rally, Tariqul said, ‘The rally will be held at Naya Paltan defying all obstacles and the government will have to take responsibility for any unwarranted situation.’
Earlier, a BNP delegation led by opposition chief whip Zainul Abdin Farroque went to meet the Dhaka Metropolitan Police commissioner, Benazir Ahmed, to seek permission for the rally, but he did not meet the team, the party alleged.
The leader of the opposition in parliament, Khaleda Zia, at the March 12 rally in the city had issued a 90-day ‘ultimatum’ to the government to accept the non-party caretaker provision by June 10, or, she said, she would announce ‘tougher’ political programmes on June 11.
Activists of the ‘18-party’ alliance distributed leaflets at different points in the city as elsewhere in the country to drum up support for the June 11 rally.
comments powered by Disqus