BNP softens its position on venue of December 10 rally
Softening the party’s earlier position on holding its December 10 Dhaka rally at Nayapaltan, BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Sunday said they will consider if the government offers them to hold the programme any other suitable alternative venue to Suhrawardy Udyan.
Speaking at a press conference at the party’s Nayapaltan central office, the BNP leader also accused the government of unnecessarily creating complications over a peaceful democratic programme, according to UNB.
“Our Dhaka rally will be the most successful and peaceful programme. We urge the government not to create any instability by trying to divert our programme to a different direction,” he said.
Replying to a question about where BNP’s rally will be held on December 10, Fakhrul said they have already said it will be held at Nayapaltan and urged the government to change its decision on Suhrawardy Udyan.
Fakhrul said their party standing committee member Mirza Abbas on Saturday called upon the government to come up with an alternative venue to Nayapaltan and Suhrawardy Udyan for holding the Dhaka rally. “Let it happen like that. If we get a proposal for any suitable alternative venue, then we will consider it. “
At that time, Mirza Abbas, the advisor to the party’s rally preparatory committee, said, “If they offer an acceptable alternative proposal, we’ll think of it. But it should not be Suhrawardy Udyan or on the Turag (river) bank,” he added.
Responding to another question, Fakhrul said they will in no way hold the rally at Suhrawardy Uduan.
He also warned the government that it will be held responsible if any chaotic situation is created over the rally.
On November 29, Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) permitted BNP to hold its rally at Suhrawardy Udyan in Dhaka on December 10 on 26 conditions. But the party turned down it saying it sought permission to hold the programme at Nayapaltan, not Suhrawardy Udyan.
As a political party, Fakhrul said they have the constitutional and democratic right to hold the rally anywhere in the country, but the government is trying to snatch that right by talking in advance about sabotage.
“I think everyone should play a role in creating a healthy atmosphere for keeping the existence of democracy in the country. The government has the most responsibility in this regard. I repeat again that our rally in Dhaka on December 10 will be completely peaceful," he said.
Fakhrul alleged that the government has established a reign of terror across the capital over the rally by issuing threats, filing cases and arresting and harassing the BNP leaders and activists.
He claimed that over 1,000 BNP leaders and activists have been arrested since November 30 in Dhaka division centring the rally. “Our leaders now can’t even stay at their homes due to the raids by police.”
The BNP leader urged the government to stop arresting BNP leaders and activists and release those who were arrested for creating a convenient and democratic environment.
Stating that their party has already held nine divisional rallies peacefully without any chaos despite various obstacles and provocations by the government and the ruling party, he said Dhaka’s programme will also be peaceful with the participation of lakhs of people.
"No one, but the government can only carry out subversive acts in Dhaka and it will be held responsible if anything bad happens here,” Fakhrul said.
He thanked the Inspector General of Police for his Saturday's remark that they have no information about any possible subversive acts centring BNP’s rally in Dhaka. “So, why are you filing cases (against BNP leaders and workers)?"
Fakhrul alleged that the government agencies are resorting to subversive acts like the explosion of crude bombs to destabilise the Nayapaltan area ahead of the rally.
On September 27, BNP announced a series of public rallies in 10 divisional cities. The party will conclude the divisional programmes by holding its last rally in Dhaka on December 10.