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DMP ban on meetings, rallies

Bangladesh on 21 October 2013
Location : Dhaka, Bangladesh | Source : bdnews24.com Image Source: bdnews24.com

Dhaka Metropolitan Police have banned all meetings, rallies, processions and 'human chains' in the capital from Sunday morning until further orders.

DMP Deputy Commissioner Masudur Rahman confirmed to bdnews24.com that the order has been issued and will be effective from 6am Sunday.

The order surprised few as the mercury on political barometer climbs with arch rivals Awami League and BNP set on a collision course, what with Opposition even calling for 'armed resistance' and threatening 'mass uprisings' after Oct 25.

BNP has convened a rally on the day for announcing its plans for an anti-government agitation if it refuses its demand of a non-party caretaker government.

Senior BNP leader Sadeq Hossain Khoka even urged their leaders and activists to attend the rally equipped with machetes, axes and sharp weapons.

Apparently to counter the opposition, the Awami League has also called a rally in the capital on the same day, sending tensions skyward.

“Police Commissioner Benzir Ahmed has banned all meetings, rallies, processions, and human chains in the Dhaka metropolitan area from 6am tomorrow until further orders under the authority entrusted upon him by the sections 28 and 29 of the DMP Ordinance.”

The order came following requests filed by AL, BNP and other 11 parties with police for permission to hold rallies in the capital on the same Oct 25.

According to police officials, the rally organised by some professional bodies at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre where Khaleda Zia is expected to attend on Sunday will fall under the ban.

The Constitution provides for holding the parliament election in 90 days to the expiry of the tenure of a government.

The countdown begins on Oct 25 and the parliament elections should be held by Jan 24.

The 15th Constitutional amendment, for the first time in the country’s history, allows the present government -- that led by the Awami league -- to stay in power during the election.

The incumbent parliament can operate during the election too.

BNP has been protesting against an election held with the Awami league in office, as it fears that would not ensure a ‘free and fair’ poll.

But the Awami League-led government has refused a return to the caretaker, repeatedly insisting that the polls will be held in keeping with the Constitution.

BNP threatened to intensify its anti-government movement from Oct 25, the day the countdown to election begins, if a bill to bring back the neutral caretaker system was not introduced in the parliament by Oct 24.

BNP leaders have accused the government of trying to foil its rally using police.

BNP’s Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi has blamed the government for making their headquarters 'off-limit even to its own leaders and activists' through heightened police surveillance.

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