Jatiya Oikya Front is set to hold its fourth rally in the Rajshahi city today as part of its ongoing movement for a free, fair and credible general election under a party-neutral poll-time government.
The rally, scheduled to begin at 2:00pm, is going to be held just a day after the chief election commissioner on Thursday evening announced the schedule for 11th parliamentay elections.
The front met ruling Awami League, led by prime minister and AL president Sheikh Hasina, for the second time two days ago to discuss ways for a free and fair election and on the fronts seven-point demand.
The bus communications between Rajshahi and Dhaka was suspended from Thursday morning for reasons not made public.
Bus communications with neighbouring districts, however, remained normal on Thursday, but the rally organisers feared that the regional bus communications could be suspended from Friday morning.
Bangladesh Nationalist Party leaders complained that the bus service was ceased with an aim to discourage participation in Friday’s rally.
Rajshahi Motore Sromik Union convener Kamal Hossain refused making any comment over the issue.
But transport leaders said that they were asked by ‘the administration’ to stop running buses from Thursday morning.
BNP leaders alleged that the transports were suspended so that the leaders and activists could not attend the rally.
Rajshahi BNP leader Mizanur Rahman Minu said that preparations were underway to show their strength ahead of elections.
The party also alleged that law enforcers were intimidating and arresting its leaders and activists ahead of the rally.
In a press conference on Thursday BNP chairperson’s adviser and former Rajshahi mayor Mizanur Rahman Minu alleged that the law enforcers were intimidating and arresting leaders and activists ahead of the rally.
Formed on October 13, the opposition alliance led by Dr Kamal Hossain, held three rallies in Sylhet and Chittagong and the capital, seeking people’s support for its seven-point demand including resignation of the government, formation of polls-time party-neutral government, dissolution of the parliament and release of BNP chief Khaleda Zia and other political prisoners.
On Tuesday’s rally in Suhrawardy Udyan in Dhaka, the alliance announced that they would march towards Rajshahi and would hold a rally there on Friday, if the second dialogue with prime minister did not bring out any outcome.
However, after the Wednesday’s discussion with Sheikh Hasina, the alliance spokesperson, Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, also the Bangladesh Nationalist Party secretary general, announced that they would not hold the road march programme but a public rally in Rajshahi on Friday.
The alliance chief Gono Forum president Kamal Hossain, Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal faction president ASM Abdur Rob, Krishak Sramik Janata League president Abdul Kader Siddique, Nagorik Oikya convener Mahmudur Rahman Manna and Bangladesh Jatiya Party chairman Andaleeve Rahman Partho, among others, are expected to address at the rally.
Rajshahi Metropolitan Police on Thursday afternoon granted permission for the rally at Ganakpara crossing in the city on some conditions, rejecting permission for the historical Madrasa maidan.
On October 22, city BNP president Mosaddek Hossain Bulbul and secretary general Shafiqul Haque Milon, on behalf of JOF, submitted an application to RMP seeking the permission.
Later, RMP spokesperson senior assistant commissioner Iftekhayer Alam said that the RMP had given permission for holding the rally at the Ganakpara.
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