Amid a tense situation and speculations over BNP’s Dhaka rally, party secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Thursday said they will hold their programme at Nayapaltan on December 10 as planned earlier. “We must hold the mass rally and we sought to arrange the programme at Nayapaltan. It’s now the responsibility of the government to remove all barriers to holding it in Dhaka peacefully. Otherwise, the government has to bear all the responsibilities (if anything bad happens),” he said. Speaking at a press conference at BNP Chairperson’s Gulshan office, he called upon the government to withdraw the police force from in front of their party’s Nayapaltan central office and create a proper atmosphere there for the rally. BNP took the decision a day after a fierce clash between their party activists and police and the subsequent action by the law enforcers at Nayapaltan on Wednesday that left one killed and over 50 injured. Fakhrul said it is the government’s responsibility to ensure that the rally is held peacefully. He, hover, said they will consider if the government offers a suitable alternative venue. Read More:Fakhrul visits Makbul’s body at DMCH morgue, condoles his family The BNP leader said their party sought permission for holding the rally at Nayapaltan, but police gave permission to hold it at Suhrawardy Udyan, which was in no way acceptable to BNP. He said the Dhaka Metropolitan Police commissioner phoned BNP leader Shahid Uddin Chowdhury Anee to talk about an alternative venue, but he was arrested when he was going to the DMP office. Asked what their party will do if the government does not allow them to use Nayapaltan for the programme, the BNP leader said they will go there on Saturday to hold the rally. “People will determine their course of actions if we’re obstructed.” Replying to another question, he said, “Wait to see by yourselves what will happen in Dhaka since the country's people have started waking up.” The BNP leader said their new action programmes will be announced from the rally to realise their demands, including the resignation of the government, dissolution of parliament and installation of a caretaker government to oversee the next polls. Police action is a manifestation of authoritarianism Fakhrul alleged that police attacked BNP leaders and activists without any provocation. “This heinous and barbaric attack by the police at Nayapaltan was just a manifestation of the fascist authoritarianism of the government. Such a cowardly attack is unimaginable.” He said Wednesday’s police attack on BNP leaders and activists was tantamount to putting the last nail in the coffin of democracy. “Awami League has turned the country into a police state in fear of facing ouster.” Read More: Police kept the bombs in BNP office: Fakhrul The BNP leader urged the government to stay away from the undemocratic path and release the BNP leaders and activists who were arrested on Wednesday from Nayapaltan. A drama over bomb recovery Fakhrul said police unwarrantedly entered the BNP office with bombs in a cement bag after attacking the party leaders and activists on Wednesday. He said police members kept the bombs by themselves at the BNP office and staged a drama over bomb recovery and bomb explosion. “The police claimed that they recovered huge explosives from the BNP office and declared the area a crime scene. It’s a lie,” the BNP leader said. He said even the police exploded bombs before his eyes after barring him from entering the office on Wednesday. “They established a reign of terror by detonating numerous bombs there.” The BNP leader alleged that the Awami League 'cadres’ along with the law enforcers carried out terror acts at Nayapaltan. He also said police vandalised furniture and valuables of the office and took away computers, laptops, hard disks and important documents, including banks’ chequebooks of the party. The BNP leader said the police conducted a drive at the BNP office after arresting all party leaders and activists who were staying there. "As per the law, the owner of the house or an establishment must be present during such a drive by police." AL a terrorist party Fakhrul said the ruling party leaders have long been issuing various threats centring BNP’s December-10 rally. “They said they will guard all the localities and lanes on December 10. Their attitude has exposed that Awami League has now become a terrorist party.” He said Awami League has been running the country by spreading fear among people and resorting to hooliganism as the party does not believe in democracy. The BNP leader also said the government has made a planned blueprint to foil BNP’s rally at Nayapaltan. He said the government has been carrying out various false campaigns against BNP to malign it, but people can understand that Awami League is a party of liars.
Minister for Information and Broadcasting Dr Hasan Mahmud said on Friday that it is unrealistic and illusory to discuss whether Khaleda Zia will join the BNP’s December 10 rally in Dhaka. He came up with the remark while responding to queries from journalists after attending a reunion function of Govt Hajji Mohammad Mohsin College at Navy Convention Centre in Chattogram, as chief guest. "The government will be bound to send her (Khaleda Zia) to jail if they (BNP) think about taking her to the rally,” he said adding that Khaleda Zia is now out jail for benevolence of Premier Sheikh Hasina as the court didn’t grant her bail. Read: Govt helping BNP to make Dhaka rally a success: Info Minister Asked about the rally venue, the information minister said “BNP became sure that not more than 50,000 people will attend the rally, hence they want to hold it in Nayapaltan.” “BNP does not want to hold the rally in Suhrawardy Udyan as the father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman proclaimed the country’s independence from there and occupying Pakistani army surrendered also,” he said. Replying to a question, Hasan Mahmud, also joint secretary general of the Awami League, said people will resist the BNP if they try to create anarchy from the rally. He said several lakhs of people will throng at the premier’s rally at the Pologround which will break all previous records. President of Mohsin College Alumni Association and Chattogram Chamber of Commerce and Industries Mahbubul Alam chaired the programme where vernacular Dainik Azadi Editor and Ekushey Padak Recipient MA Malek spoke among others.