AL, BNP face off over Jan 5

Staff Correspondent | Published at 12:05am on January 04, 2018

Ruling Awami League and main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party go ahead with preparations to observe January 5 with opposite stances creating a kind of tension as the opposition is yet to get permission to hold its rally in Dhaka.
BNP on Tuesday again sent letters to the concerned authorities seeking permission for holding a rally at Nayapaltan in the city on January 5 considering that it would not get permission for Suhrawardy Udyan.
Any denial of permission for holding rallies would result in volatile situation as BNP denied permission to hold rally at Suhrawardy Udyan or Nayapaltan last year to mark the day.
On the other hand Bangladesh Road Transport Owners’ Association led by state minister for LGRD and Cooperatives Moshiur Rahman Ranga in a press release, signed by its secretary general Khandker Enayet Ullah, urged the transport owners and workers to stay alert to resist any attempt of BNP-Jamaat activists to damage vehicles in the name of so called programmes of ‘Ganatantra Hattar Kalo Dibosh’ on January 5.
Awami League observes the day as ‘Ganatanter Bijoy Dibash’ while BNP observes as ‘democracy killing day’ after ‘one-sided’ general election of January 5, 2014 boycotted by most of the political parties demanding the election under a non-party neutral government.
Awami League announced to bring out processions and hold rallies at metropolitan cities, districts and upazilas to observe the day.
The ruling party is scheduled to organise two rallies in Dhaka — one in front of Awami League central office on Bangabandhu Avenue and another at Banani.
AL general secretary Obaidul Quader in a statement on Wednesday urged the party leaders and activists to observe the day befitting manner.
BNP announced to take out black flag processions at metropolitan cities, except two cities in Dhaka, and in district and upazila headquarters on the day while it would hold a rally in Dhaka.
The party’s senior joint secretary general, Ruhul Kabir Rizvi, at a news conference on Wednesday said they did not get any response from Public Works authority and Dhaka Metropolitan Police over holding a rally at Suhrawardy Udyan on January 5 to mark the day ‘Democracy Killing Day’.
On Saturday BNP sent letters to the authorities seeking permission for using the ground.
Rizvi said BNP had come to know from mass media that permission was given to an ‘unknown’ and unfamiliar party on December 11 to hold public meeting at Suhrawardy Udyan on January 5.
The BNP leader said giving permission to that party much earlier bypassing BNP’s application is a part of implementing the government’s ‘evil design’.
This is the reflection of the government’s ‘envying’ policy.
On Tuesday, BNP submitted application to the Dhaka South City Corporation and police seeking permission for holding a rally at Nayapaltan, Rizvi said.
The BNP leader said they were taking preparation for the rally.
Asked whether BNP would take strong stand if it was not granted permission, Rizvi said the party would go for fresh programmes.
Leaders and activists of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal along with BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia and some senior leaders went on an impromptu sit-in on the premises of Institution of Engineers’ Bangladesh in Dhaka on Tuesday as the IEB authority locked its auditorium scheduled for a discussion of JCD.
Later the authority had unlocked the auditorium and the discussion was held.
BNP and its allies had launched countrywide non-stop transport blockade coupled with hartal from January 5, 2015 as the party was not allowed to hold rally in Dhaka on January 5.
The blockade continued more than three months that left many people killed in violence.
However, BNP was allowed to hold rally at Nayapaltan in 2016 to mark democracy killing day on January 5.