‘Govt to be held responsible for obstruction’
Rafiqul Islam Azad: The opposition BNP has made all-out preparations to hold its grand rally on Saturday in the capital city of Dhaka before embarking on the final stage of their movement to topple the government.
The mass gathering will take place on the road in front of the party’s central office at NayaPaltan. The BNP, the main rival of the ruling Awami League, clearly stated the party’s position in a letter to the police on Thursday, emphasizing that it is not possible to hold the grand rally in Dhaka anywhere other than Nayapaltan.
BNP leaders have said that all preparations have been made to organize a peaceful rally in front of the central office. Leaders and activists of the party from all over the country headed to Dhaka two days ago to attend the mass gathering. The party leaders and activists are reaching Dhaka using various strategies to avoid arrest and will conclude their journey to Dhaka by Friday.
A senior leader of the party associated with the success of the general meeting told this correspondent that the BNP intends to hold the general meeting in a completely peaceful manner.
“If there is an obstacle from the government, then the situation could take a turn in any direction. The government will have to take responsibility for it,” he warned.
According to BNP’s decision, the next program of the final movement will be announced during the grand rally. As part of the program, BNP has preliminarily decided to encircle the secretariat on October 30, according to party insiders. BNP leaders and activists will march from the front of the party office in NayaPaltan towards the secretariat. However, if the police create an obstacle on the way, they will immediately hold a protest there for a few hours, according to insiders.
Apart from the siege of the Secretariat as part of the final movement of the party, there may be a series of siege programs targeting different offices, including the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). The nature of the program may change based on the response and behavior of government parties and law enforcement agencies in these programs. In that case, BNP may resort to a continuous blockade program to press for their demands, said a senior leader speaking anonymously.
Meanwhile, party leaders have been instructed not to leave Dhaka after the rally. The high command of BNP aims to see the logical conclusion of the one-party movement before the scheduled 12th parliament elections through a series of continuous programs.
The grand rally scheduled for Saturday was announced on October 18 as part of the ‘one-party final movement’ to demand the government’s resignation and the formation of an election-time non-partisan caretaker government. During that gathering, the party’s secretary general, Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, said, “Our great journey will begin from the gathering. InshaAllah, we will not stop until the government falls.”
After announcing the program of the grand rally in Dhaka, BNP began preparations for it successfully. Strict instructions have been given at all organizational levels of the party to ensure the success of the grand rally. The party’s high command has also instructed the leaders and activists to use ‘all their strength’ to make the convention a success. All the preparations have already been completed after receiving the instructions. In addition to activists from the surrounding districts of Dhaka, participants from all organizational districts are gathering in Dhaka.
BNP leaders say that they will ensure the largest number of leaders and activists in the grand gathering. Common people will also participate in the rally. However, BNP has informed the DMP in a letter that there will be 100,000 to 125,000 people in the rally.
Regarding preparations for BNP’s general meeting, Abdus Salam, convener of the party’s Dhaka metropolitan south unit, said, “All our preparations have already been completed to organize the general meeting in Nayapaltan on October 28.
We urge everyone to participate in the rally peacefully. However, in order to create fear around the mass gathering, checkposts have been set up at various places to intimidate the leaders and activists, and they are being arrested. But even with these obstacles, the crowd cannot be stopped. This rally is not just for BNP; common people are also involved in it. Because no one has confidence in this government, people from all over the country will unite and take to the streets, that is our hope.
AminulHaque, member secretary of Dhaka North City unit of BNP, said that all preparations have been successfully completed for the grand convention. Besides the leaders and activists, common people will also participate in this rally. No deterrent, including arrests, could stop the flow.
Meanwhile, the party responded to the letter sent by the police last Wednesday, which asked for information on seven issues, including the alternative venue of the mass meeting. In the letter, BNP made it clear that it is not possible to hold the grand rally in Dhaka on October 28 anywhere other than Nayapaltan.
All preparations have already been completed for the peaceful rally in front of the BNP head office in NayaPaltan. In response to the other matters that DMP wanted to know, the letter informed the following:
The rally will begin at 2 pm, ending before the Maghrib call to prayer.The assembly may have one to one hundred thousand people.The rally may extend to Bijayanagar Junction in the West and Fakirapoolintersection in the East.Microphones will be placed at intervals up to Bijayanagarintersection in the West and Fakirapul Junction in the East.Leaders and workers of any political party other than BNP will not participate in the rally.The party’s own 500 volunteers will be responsible for maintaining internal order during the rally.
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