AL activists take to streets, break DMP ban

Ahmed Shatil Alam and Arifur Rahman | Published: 00:05, Feb 09,2018 | Updated: 00:44, Feb 09,2018

 
 
Awami League

Awami League activists stand beside a road at Shahbagh in the capital on Thursday ahead of the verdict scheduled to be delivered against Bangladesh Nationalist Party chairperson Khaleda Zia and five others in Zia Orphanage Trust graft case. — Sourav Lasker

Ruling Alwami League and its associate and like-minded organisations on Thursday were on guard at streets in the capital, organising processions with sticks, not giving a damn to the ban slapped by Dhaka Metropolitan Police on such activities.
A large number of activists of ruling AL and its associate bodies were seen carrying sticks, showing off presence riding bikes, holding processions at different points of the city in presence of law enforcers to ‘ward off any subversive activities’ over the verdict against Bangladesh Nationalist Party chairperson Khaleda Zia.
Khaleda, also a former prime minister, was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment by a special court in a graft case on the day.
Since morning, violating the DMP ban, activists of Juba League, Chhatra League, Sramik League, Mahila League gathered in many small and large groups of up to 700 people and chanted slogans at different points including Dhaka University, Farmgate, Shegun Bagicha, Jatrabari, Motijheel, Mirpur 1, 10, 11, Kalyanpur, Mohammadpur, Dhanmondi, Khilkhet, Uttara, Sayedabad and Banani.
The DMP in an order on Tuesday banned processions and demonstrations in the capital’s roads blocking traffic and pedestrian movements for an indefinite period beginning 4:00am on Thursday.
In the order, DMP also said that none would be allowed even to sit or keep standing on the streets. DMP also banned carrying sticks, knives, other sharp weapons, explosives and inflammable substances.
At Dhaka University, a large group of BCL was found demonstrating with rods and sticks at TSC about 9:00am and continued the demonstration till 3:00 pm. Activists of BCL hall units were found sitting on chairs and benches near the halls.
A group of around 500 AL activists was seen sitting with sticks and chanting slogans against Khaleda Zia in the Mirpur area about 11:30am, while a large number of police personnel were deployed in the area.
AL leaders and activists said that they took to the streets at the order of the central command of the party for providing security of people and their property.
Md Jahid Hossain Jewel, a local Awami League leader at Jatrabari, said, ‘We have taken position on the streets to provide security to people and their property. We’ll stay here all the day.’
Omar Faruk, Shramik League president of ward 96 (Khilkhet) in Dhaka North City, said they were asked by the central command to protect commuters and vehicles.
Ruling party activists were also seen at Gabtali and Abdullahpur, two of the entrances to the capital. Besides, the activists, police were checking the inbound buses and vehicles with several check-posts in those areas.
Asked for comment about violation of the DMP order by ruling party activists, home affairs minister Asaduzzaman Khan said that BNP activists also held demonstrations and paraded city roads while their chairperson Khaleda Zia’s motorcade was moving towards the Bakshibazar court.
He, however, claimed that there was neither any incident of chaos nor any protests over the verdict.

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