Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) has denied the BNP permission to hold its rally slated for Monday at Suhrawardy Udyan in Dhaka.
DMP Deputy Commissioner Masudur Rahman said police had not granted permission considering public safety.
The party planned to hold the protest rally in a push for its Chairperson Khaleda Zia’s release. Khaleda has been serving a five-year jail term since she was convicted by a lower court in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case on February 8.
“The High Court will deliver its order on Khaleda’s bail plea on Monday. BNP was denied permission to hold the rally because it might resort to violence and create chaos if Khaleda’s bail order is further delayed,” a DMP official, preferring to be unnamed, told the Dhaka Tribune on Sunday.
The High Court bench of Justice M Enayetur Rahim and Justice Shahid Karim had previously set Sunday for passing an order on the plea. But it has been set back by one day as the case docket did not reach the High Court on time.
Also Read - Khaleda bail hearing deferred to Monday
Slating heavily the authorities concerned for not giving permission for the rally, the BNP top brass said this government fears public gatherings as “its lacks popular mandate” for ruling the country.
They also accused the government of obstructing their peaceful rallies and processions across the country either by imposing Section 144 or arresting and harassing their leaders and activists.
Referring to the ruling Awami League’s rally marking historic March 7 Day at Suhrawardy Udyan on Wednesday, BNP Senior Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi said: “Does Suhrawardy Udya only belong to Awami League? Awami League men claim the country as their birthright.”
‘Awami League running after foreigners’
Rizvi alleged that it is Awami League, not BNP, which is running after foreigners as it is desperate to hold another farcical election.
“Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader yesterday (Saturday) said BNP is lobbying with foreigners to go to power. I would like to say BNP is a party of people and it believes in returning to power with people’s mandate,” he told a press beefing at BNP’s Naya Paltan central office in Dhaka on Sunday.
Also Read - Awami League to arrange biggest rally since 1975 on March 7
“So, it’s Awami League which is running after foreigners and lobbying with them in fear of losing power.”
The top BNP leader said people are determined to exercise their right to franchise in the next election by any means. “Realizing such an attitude of the people, the government has become worried. They are desperate to hold another lopsided election according to local and international master plans.”
“The prime minister is frequently travelling abroad to attend many programs. The main motive behind such visits is to woo the foreigners,” added Rizvi, a member of BNP’s National Standing Committee, the party’s highest policymaking body.
“The entire world, except two to three counties, is showing a negative attitude towards the current ‘illegal’ government. International organizations have already said they want the next election to be free, fair, neutral and inclusive one,” he claimed.
HRFB condemns police actions on BNP’s sit-in
Meanwhile, Human Rights Forum Bangladesh (HRFB) has condemned police actions on a sit-in of BNP on Thursday.
Also Read - Police foil BNP sit-in
Detectives and law enforcers swooped on and arrested the party’s student wing Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal’s Dhaka North unit president Mizanur Rahman Raju and two BNP activists from in front of National Press Club in Dhaka, where they held the program demanding Khaleda’s release.
As BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakfrul Islam Alamgir and other senior leaders tried to save Raju, the law enforcers chased them and foiled the sit-in.
Issuing a press release on Sunday, the HRFB, a network of human rights organizations in the country, said such actions and behaviour by law enforcers are against the constitution and violate Articles 37 and 39, which guarantee the citizens’ right to the freedoms of thought and assembly.