Daylong hartal in Gazipur led by BNP
Dhaka, 27 December 2014, Nirapad News : The BNP-led 20-party alliance called a dawn to dusk hartal in Gazipur and demonstration across the country for today (Saturday) in protest against the section 144 imposed on the venue by the district administration where the party was set to hold a scheduled today.
AKM Fazlul Haq, the BNP district chief made the announcement yesterday following a meeting of the party standing committee at the Gulshan office of party Chairman Khaleda Zia.
Later, BNP acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir announced the countrywide demonstration programme, also protesting the imposition of section 144 in Gazipur, on the day.
The meeting was held to discuss the evolving political situation. The district administration clamped section 144 in the district after Awami League’s student wing Chhatra League announced to resist BNP’s pre-scheduled rally on December 27. BNP-led 20-party alliance announced holding the rally as part of its countrywide campaign to drum up support in favour of its demand for an election under a non-partisan government. Earlier the alliance has held 10 such public rallies in different parts of the country. The BNP rally is scheduled to be held at Bhawal Bodr-e-Alam Government College. Awami League’s student organisation Bangladesh Chhatra League called meeting at the same venue, Bhawal Badre Alam College ground and vowed to resist the BNP programme and announced that they too will hold a rally on the same venue and the same day protesting the remarks of BNP’s Senior Vice-Chairman Tarique Rahman, and demanded his expulsion from the party.
The party says the ruling Awami League stages drama to foil BNP gathering. Tarique recently at a programme in London called Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman a “razakar”.
Gazipur district administration yesterday morning told journalists that they would not allow any political party to hold any meeting as both parties failed to reach a consensus. “No political party will be allowed to hold rallies at Bhawal Bodr-e-Alam Government College for the sake of law and order,” Nurul Islam, Gazipur district commissioner, told journalists.
Nurul Islam also said neither BNP nor Chhatra League obtained permission to stage rallies at the venue. “We will initiate necessary measures so that none can create an anarchy in the area centring the political event,” he added. Just an hour later district Police Super Harun-ur Rashind at a press briefing said an indefinite ban was imposed on any gathering at Gazipur’s Bhawal Badre Alam College from 2pm yesterday until further notice. The police super also said: “We have tried several times to bring the two parties together to enable them to reach a consensus, which they failed. Therefore, we decided to impose section 144 to maintain law and order.”
BNP alleged that imposing section 144 on its rally in Gazipur is a part of government’s plan to thwart BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia’s scheduled rally on December 27.
Khaleda Zia was scheduled to speak at a Gazipur rally on Saturday as a chief guest. The government has imposed section 144 as part of its planned conspiracy said Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, acting secretary general of the party. The spokesperson of the party claimed that they followed all the procedures to get permission but as the government staged a series of dramas, the BNP was got granted permission to hold the rally. “The government will not allow opposition party to hold a rally and that is why the Gazipur administration and Chhatra League have staged dramas over the last few days.” The BNP leader alleged that the government had proved that they do not want to give any space to the opposition. “The government obstructed the holding of our rally in the capital and now it is doing the same outside the capital.”
Earlier, the party said even though Chhatra League has made threats, the party will hold its rally in Gazipur and party Chairperson Khaleda Zia will join the rally. “We want to state very clearly that the meeting will be held tomorrow (Saturday). We will certainly go to Gazipur. Now it is up to the government to ensure that our rally takes place,” Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, acting secretary general of the party, said at a press briefing at the chairperson’s Gulshan office.
“Gazipur’s DC and SP also told us that there would no problem. But two to three days back Chhatra League announced that it would not allow us to hold the rally, and with direct police patronisation they occupied the venue. It is anarchy.” The BNP leader warned of dire consequences if the government continues to snatch people’s democratic rights in holding rallies.
Meanwhile, after imposing section 144, five platoon police were deployed in Bhawal Badr-e-Alam College Grounds to maintain law and order. Apart from this, law enforcers were also deployed at different strategic points of the city.
On Thursday night, police raided houses of BNP leaders and arrested nine including district Jubo Dal Senior Vice-President from Gazipur.
“On Thursday night, three were arrested from different areas of Tongi,” Sajeda Lata, on-duty officer of Tongi Police Station, said. Fouzia Sultana of Joydebpur Police Station, said: “We have arrested six from Gazipur area.” Though the BNP-led 20-party alliance leaders and activists were arrested on security reasons, Sramik League, Jubo League, Mohila League and Chhatra League brought out processions at the Chandana intersection.
Towhidul Islam Dip, general secretary of Gazipur city Chhatra League, said: “We came to know about section 144. we respect the law. We will announce our programmes later.”
Earlier, on Thursday Chhatra League men equipped with iron rods and sticks took control of Bhawal Badre Alam College grounds in Gazipur. In the presence of law enforcers, Chhatra League and other front and associated bodies of Awami League set fire to banners, festoons and placards of the BNP-led alliance. They also hung large banners and a canopy at the college to hold a counter rally there tomorrow (today) to protest Tarique’s abusive words against Bangabandhu.
Meanwhile, tension gripped Gazipur city dwellers ahead of the likely face-off between Awami League and BNP over the December 27 BNP rally.