DMP says no rallies will be allowed on working days
Around 30 people, including Gano Samhati Andolon Convenor Zonayed Saki and Revolutionary Workers Party of Bangladesh (RWPB) General Secretary Saiful Haque as well as several photojournalists and law enforcers, were injured in a clash between the Left Democratic Alliance (LDA) and police.
During the LDA's march toward the Prime Minister’s Office on Monday to mark the first anniversary of the 11th general election, which the alliance decries as a “black day”, police wielded batons against its leaders and activists in an attempt to prevent them from moving forward.
Police officials were seen beating Zonayed Saki and multiple other female demonstrators and dragging them away from the road before the High Court.
This correspondent also saw some policemen getting injured, as the demonstrators, in retaliation, hurled brickbats at them.
Abdullah Al Kafi Ratan, convenor of the Left Democratic Alliance and a leader of the Communist Party of Bangladesh, told reporters that about 26 leaders and activists were injured during the clash. All them were sent to Dhaka Medical College Hospital for treatment.
He claimed that four of their supporters had been detained by police.
The clash caused traffic movement on roads adjacent to Segunbagicha to be blocked for half an hour.
The LDA's rally, which started around 11am near the National Press Club, was marching towards the Prime Minister's Office around 12:45pm when police obstructed them near Matsya Bhaban. A clash then ensued, leaving both marchers and policemen injured.
Shompa Basu, BSD Dhaka unit activist, said: "Police attacked our peaceful rally when we were marching towards the Prime Minister's Office.”
Sajjadur Rahman, deputy commissioner for DMP Ramna division, said: "We did not want to go after them. But they defied police restrictions and moved forward, breaking through all police barricades.
"Police were attacked when trying to block them. The crowd threw brickbats and placard sticks at them, injuring five policemen in the process."
The law enforcers used minimal force to disperse them from the area, Sajjadur Rahman added.
In the initial stages of the LDA demonstration in front of the National Press Club, Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) President Mujahidul Islam Selim, General Secretary Shah Alam, BSD Central Committee Member Bazlur Rashid Firoz and other leaders delivered speeches condemning the last general election.
The LDA has called for a demonstration before the National Press Club at 4pm today in protest against Monday's attack.
Additionally, the BSD has demanded punishment for the police involved in the clash.
In a press statement, the BSD (Marxist) said 16 of its party activists were severely injured in Monday's clash.
DMP not to allow rallies on working days
Meanwhile, the Dhaka Metropolitan Police has said it will not allow any blockades on roads through a holding of rallies on working days.
Dhaka Metropolitan Police Commissioner Md Shafiqul Islam made the statement at a press briefing in the conference room of DMP’s media and public relations division around 11:30am on Monday.
The press briefing was arranged to discuss security measures on New Year's Eve, commonly known as the 31st night.
When asked if the BNP would hold a rally without police permission, the DMP commissioner said: "We have not given them permission to hold a rally as Monday is a working day. We will not allow parties to hold political programs by blocking roads on workdays."
Earlier, the BNP standing committee members at a meeting last week decided to observe December 30 as “democracy-killing day.”
On Sunday, the BNP announced its decision to hold protest rallies in Dhaka and other districts of the country to observe “democracy-killing day” with various programs, marking the first anniversary of the 11th general election held last year.