The police did not allow Bangladesh Nationalist Party to take out processions at seven points of the capital on Tuesday, the day of the 12th parliament went into its maiden session, citing a lack of permission for the street programme.
The BNP and some other opposition parties were supposed to take out processions holding black flags across the country, including in the capital on Tuesday demanding a fresh election under a non-party government.
In the capital, BNP’s Dhaka south city unit was scheduled to bring out the black-flag processions in front of Pirjungi Mazar, Jatrabari’s Kadamtoli Bus Station, New Market and Dayaganj intersection while the Dhaka north city unit in front of Suvastu Nazar Valley Shopping Mall at Shahjadpur, Uttara Section-12 Graveyard and near a mosque at Mirpur-6, also to demand the cancellation of the ‘illegal dummy’ parliament.
BNP leaders and activists started gathering the seven spots with black flags to hold their programmes, but police obstructed them from taking out processions saying that the party did not get permission for the programme from the Dhaka Metropolitan Police authorities.
Meanwhile, police picked up BNP standing committee member Abdul Moyeen Khan as he went to near a graveyard of Uttara-12 in the capital at about 2:00pm to join BNP’s black-flag procession.
A group of police obstructed Moyeen as he was addressing the gathering and took him to a police van.
Later, the BNP leader was released and allowed to go to his Gulshan residence riding his vehicle.
Md Shahjahan, deputy commissioner of Uttara Division of Dhaka Metropolitan Police, said, ‘Moyeen Khan was neither arrested nor detained. We asked him to wait.’
‘We also asked him to refrain from joining the black-flag procession,’ he said.
Dhaka Metropolitan Police Uttara Zone’s additional deputy commissioner Mirza Salahuddin said that the party tried to hold a programme without any permission.
He said the BNP sought permission from the DMP to hold the programme but the party was not permitted in a b bid to maintain law and order in the city. ‘That is why we didn’t allow them to hold the programme.’
He said that they also picked up eight to 10 people from the spot for questioning.
Besides, police also foiled BNP’s processions in other areas of the capital and detained some BNP leaders and activists.
BNP standing committee member Gayeshwar Chandra Roy went to Pirjungi Mazar in the capital’s Motijheel area at about 2:20pm but failed to take out the procession.
Talking to reporters, he said holding rallies and processions is a democratic and constitutional right of the political parties.
‘We sent a letter to the DMP police commissioner informing them about our plans to peacefully bring out processions at seven places in the capital. But the police obstructed us everywhere. We strongly condemn and protest this action of the police.’
He said that the government is arresting BNP leaders and workers and not allowing them to hold a peaceful programme without any justified reason.
The BNP leader said their party leaders and activists were staying around the procession venues in a scattered way to hold the programme amid the presence of police. ‘But it’s not our intention to be involved in conflict and clash with the police.’
At one stage, Gayeshwar left the area in his vehicle as the party’s programme was foiled.
Office-in-charge of Motijheel Police Station Abul Kalam Azad said that BNP did not get permission to hold the programme.’