All set for BNP-led alliance’s rally today
BNP alleges obstruction on roads, waterwaysStaff Correspondent
The Bangladesh Nationalist Party-led ‘18-party’ alliance will hold a ‘grand’ rally at Naya Paltan in the capital today with the authorities reportedly obstructing transports on roads and waterways leading to Dhaka apparently in a bid to prevent opposition activists from outlying areas from attending the programme.
The BNP chairperson, Khaleda Zia, also the leader of the opposition in parliament, is expected to announce the alliance’s next course of action to press home its demand for an election-time caretaker government system.
The rally is scheduled to start at 2:00pm
New Age correspondent in Barisal reported that transport companies had suspended all Dhaka-bound passenger services on roads and waterways from Barisal on Sunday afternoon while Bogra correspondent said that transport owners had suspended all bus services from the north Bengal districts to Dhaka.
Suspension of transport services has caused sufferings to thousands of general passengers at different bus and launch terminals all over the country.
Besides, the authorities asked the hotels and guest houses in the capital, particularly at Paltan and Farmgate and surrounding areas not to allow any ‘suspicious’ guests ‘for the time being’, alleged some guest house owners.
In a press release, the BNP alleged that the government was barring its activists from coming to Dhaka at different points on road, rail and waterways. Police also raided houses of the party activists in the capital to foil the programme, it alleged.
Khaleda Zia at a rally in the capital on March 12 issued a 90-day ‘ultimatum’ to the government to restore the caretaker system by June 10 or, she warned, she would announce ‘tougher’ programmes on June 11.
The alliance has completed all preparations for today’s rally after the authorities finally gave permission on Sunday for the Naya Paltan venue and for using public address system after much delay.
The alliance had applied to the National Sports Council for permission to use the Paltan ground and written to the Dhaka Metropolitan
Police for either Manik Mia Avenue or Naya Paltan, but the authorities gave the permission for holding the rally at Naya Paltan at the eleventh hour.
The Dhaka Metropolitan Police has given the permission for the rally at Naya Paltan on 11 conditions.
The 11-point condition said that the stage should not be erected in the middle of the road, workers would not be allowed to gather at the venue until two hours before the rally time and the rally must be concluded by 5:30pm.
The BNP is organising the rally when some 16 senior leaders, including the party’s acting secretary general, Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, and some members of party’s highest policy-making body – the national standing committee – are behind bars.
The rally management coordination committee convenor Tariqul Islam, also a BNP standing committee member, said they had made necessary preparations after the government’s belated permission.
‘We hope that around 1.5 million people will attend the rally. We have taken preparations accordingly,’ he told a media briefing at the BNP’s Naya Paltan central office.
Party insiders said many of the ‘18-party’ alliance activists had already reached Dhaka to attend the rally to avoid a situation like the March 12 rally when the authorities had obstructed road, rail and waterways.
Meanwhile, the BNP accused the government of arresting its leaders and activists across the country ahead of today’s rally.
There will be a live stream of the rally on bnplive.com.
comments powered by Disqus