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Dhaka Tribune

Government to deploy BGB as BNP and AL plan rallies tomorrow

Update : 23 Oct 2013, 08:20 PM

The government is likely to deploy Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) personnel in the capital today, as an additional security measure “to ensure safety of the lives and assets of the people” after the two main parties announced plans to hold rallies almost concurrently tomorrwo.

The BGB members will also be deployed across the country to supplement the existing security measures taken by the Police and Rapid Action Battalion (Rab), a source at the home ministry confirmed the Dhaka Tribune.

Several city and district administrations have also started taking individual measures, including imposing a ban on public rallies and processions until further notice.

“It is already decided that the government can deploy BGB forces any time as additional security measure for the people, if it is needed. If anybody tries to create any violence or any violent situation is found, the government will deploy BGB to tackle them. But when it will be deployed, has not been decided yet,” home ministry’s Additional Secretary Mainuddin Khandokar told the Dhaka Tribune.

Meanwhile, sources claimed the ministry has already decided to deploy BGB as part of the total security plan to tackle any unrest.

BGB personnel, who will patrol with police and Rab forces, will be deployed in Dhaka, Chittagong and other important areas in the country. They will perform the duties until further instructions are given, the ministry source said.

Although the Dhaka Metropolitan Police has slapped a ban on rallies, processions and human chains for an indefinite period in the capital, BNP’s acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said the party “will hold a rally” in front of its Nayapaltan party headquarters on October 25.

The ruling Awami League also plans to place its activists at different places in the capital tomorrow, according to party sources.

Meanwhile, Chittagong Metropolitan Police (CMP) has also imposed an indefinite ban on public rallies and processions in the port city from today, on the backdrop of the programme announcements made by the two major parties.

Four platoons of BGB personnel are also being deployed in the port city to assist the law enforcing agencies in maintaining law and order, said police sources.

“CMP Commissioner Md Shafiqul Islam imposed the ban on rallies and processions across the city from 6am, which will continue until further notice,” Banaz Kumar Majumder, additional commissioner (crime and operation) of CMP, said.

He also said the ban was imposed under sections 29, 30, 33 and 34 of Chittagong Metropolitan Ordinance 1978, to avert untoward incident as both Awami League and BNP had announced rallies at Laldighi grounds from October 24 to 27.

Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury, president of city unit BNP, told the Dhaka Tribune that the CMP made the decision after being influenced by the ruling party.

“Administration grabbed our political rights with this ban,” he said, adding that people would not tolerate this type of autocratic attitude from the government.

Dr Shahadat Hossain, secretary general of BNP’s Chittagong city unit, told a rally in Kazir Dewri intersection on Wednesday afternoon that they would take position in the city roads to regain their political and civil rights.

In Barisal, local residents are also fearing large-scale political violence, with rival political camps gearing up for October 25 rallies.

Both Awami League and BNP have planned rallies at the same place and time for the day, with both the parties claiming they applied for permission to the metropolitan police for holding their rally ahead of each other.

Barisal Metropolitan Police Commissioner Md Shamsuddin acknowledged receiving applications from both parties, but said they would not allow any side to arrange programmes in the interests of maintaining law and order.  

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