Main opposition BNPhas got the permission from the Dhaka Metropolitan Police for holding a rally in the capital's Suhrawardy Udyan on Wednesday.
Earlier in the day, uncertainity created over getting rally permission as the law enforcers did not gave their nod in this regard till Tuesday evening.
Abdus Salam, member secretary to the city unit of the BNP, told the Dhaka Tribune: “Police is not giving us permission to arrange a rally in front of the party’s Naya Paltan office. They [police] have told us that they would give their official response in this regard in the afternoon.”
A senior police official however, said there was no decision of allowing any party to hold rally on the city streets.
“If BNP had sought permission to hold a rally on any ground other than the roads that would be considered,” Anwar Hossain, DC (HQ) of Dhaka Metropolitan Police told the Dhaka Tribune.
Earlier today, a delegation of the BNP led by Shahid Uddin Chowdhury Annee and Abdus Salam met senior police officials to get the updates in this regard.
Abdus Salam claimed that while talking to the police officials, the delegation also expressed their willingness to hold the rally at other places including Muktangon of the capital, if police does not feel to allow the party to hold rally in front of the party’s central office.
The delegation also posed a question to the police officials why BNP would not be allowed to hold the rally in front of the party’s central office whereas the ruling party organised rallies in front of their central office in the capital earlier this week, Salam added.
On the other development, home minister Dr Muhiuddin Khan Alamgir on Tuesday in Parliament advised BNP to hold their rally and meeting inside their office or auditorium or any area surrounded by wall to get the government’s permission.
“If BNP comes up with a proposal to hold rally and meeting inside their office or auditorium or any walled area instead of open places, the government will surely consider it under the existing laws,” he said in response to a point of order raised by BNP lawmaker Shahid Uddin Chowdhury Anee.
Rising on point of order at the very beginning of the day’s business, Anee said that his party has decided to hold a rally in front of its central office at the city’s Nayapaltan tomorrow (Wednesday).
“But the DMP (Dhaka Metropolitan Police) commissioner told us that he could not give the permission as there is an embargo from highest authority,” he said.
The BNP lawmaker said he told the DMP commissioner that the matter was already discussed in Parliament and it was a settled issue, and “you can give the permission,” he said.
Anee also told the DMP commissioner that if he was unable to give the permission for the rally in front of the BNP central office, he could give the permission for another place like Paltan Maidan, Suhrawardy Udyan or Muktangan.
“This could be applicable for both the opposition and the ruling party,” he said.
Anee warned that if permission was not given for the rally, the opposition BNP might go for tougher agitation programmes including hartal.
Home Minister MK Alamgir said that the government had earlier allowed rallies in open spaces but the opposition leaders and activists did not comply with the conditions and caused public sufferings, disrupted movement of vehicles and carried out brutal attacks on the members of the law enforcing agencies.
“We also witnessed barricade against traffic movement at the rally spot a day before,” he said.
The Home Minister, however, said the government might consider giving permission for the rally if the opposition lawmaker ensured there will be no public sufferings, disruption in vehicles movement and attacks on the members of the law enforcing agencies,.
“But their past record does not go in favour of them,” he said adding: “We can’t allow such incidents to take place again. Giving permission doesn’t mean giving license (to do whatever they want).”