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BNP denied rally permission, calls for protest today

Having failed to get permission for holding a rally in the city, the BNP yesterday announced that it will stage nationwide protests today against the denial of permission by police and attacks on party men on January 5.

BNP Senior Joint Secretary General Rizvi Ahmed made the announcement at a press conference at the party’s Nayapaltan central office.

Earlier on December 28, the party sought permission from the Dhaka Metropolitan Police to hold the rally at Suhrawardy Udyan on January 7 marking the “democracy killing day” on January 5, the third anniversary of the parliamentary polls in 2014. Major opposition parties, including the BNP, had boycotted the polls.

BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Friday urged the government to allow the party to hold the rally either at Suhrawardy Udyan or in front of its office, but there was no response from the DMP.

A large contingent of police with armored vehicles, water cannons and a prison van was deployed in front of the BNP office yesterday morning. Law enforcers barred all but a few senior BNP leaders and journalists from entering the party office.

Speaking at the press conference, Rizvi said the BNP will hold protests and bring out processions in all metropolitan cities, district headquarters and thanas of the capital.

Demonstrations will be staged protesting denial of police permission for the Dhaka rally and attacks on party men on January 5 during processions with black flags at different parts of the country, he added.

The BNP leader blasted the government for deploying law enforcers in front of the party office and at Suhrawardy Udyan.

“Law enforcers have surrounded our office. A war-like situation has been prevailing in Suhrawardy Udyan area since morning [yesterday]. It seems the government has declared a war against the BNP,” said Rizvi.

The ruling Awami League on January 5 held a rally and brought out processions in the capital to mark “democracy saving day”.

Referring to AL’s rally and processions, Rizvi said if the AL can get permission, why the BNP won’t be allowed to hold a rally.

Sources at the BNP central office said the party was denied permission for organising programmes, including rallies and human chains, on at least seven occasions in the last three years.

The last outdoor public rally under the BNP’s banner was held on the May Day last year at Suhrawardy Udyan.

The DMP granted the BNP permission to hold a rally on January 5 last year. However, it denied the party permission to hold political programmes on November 7 last year to mark the “National Revolution and Solidarity Day”, said BNP sources.

The party enforced a 99-day nationwide blockade of rail, road and waterways from January 6, 2015, after it was denied permission to hold a rally in the capital’s Nayapaltan on the first anniversary of the 2014 polls.

Source: Daily Star, Dhaka, Bangladesh

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