BNP announces plans for Jan 7 rally at Dhaka's Suhrawardy Udyan
Senior Correspondent bdnews24.com
Published: 2016-12-28 15:53:33.0 BdST Updated: 2016-12-28 16:04:28.0 BdST
The BNP has announced a nationwide programme for ‘Death of Democracy Day’, to protest the third year of Awami League rule since the 10th Parliamentary Elections.
The programme includes protest marches in all districts and Upazilas on Jan 5 and a rally in Dhaka’s Suhrawardy on Jan 7.
The programme was announced by BNP Senior Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi at a press conference in the party’s headquarters in Dhaka’s Naya Paltan on Wednesday.
“On Jan 5, BNP activists will lead protests marches in all areas of the country other than Dhaka, carrying black flags and wearing black badges to commemorate the death of Bangladesh democracy,” said Rizvi.
“We have also planned a rally at Suhrawardy Udyan on Jan 7 and have contacted the designated authorities with our request,” he said.
The BNP had boycotted the 10th Parliamentary Elections on Jan 5, 2014, calling for an impartial caretaker government to conduct the elections. The Awami League government won a second term in office in the polls.
Last year the two parties announced competing programs, with the BNP commemorating ‘Death of Democracy Day’, and the Awami League celebrating ‘Democratic Victory Day’.
The BNP-led alliance called for non-stop blockade of roads, rail and waterways when police refused to let them hold the rally.
Large-scale street violence was unleashed during the three-month blockade. Over a hundred people died in the violence that followed, mostly in firebombing of vehicles.
BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia had called for a rally this year to mark the second anniversary of the election.
BNP activists are being harassed, arrested and attacked because of the Ashulia worker strike, said Rizvi.
“We condemn the illegal arrests and violence against activists, the immediate withdrawal of the false cases against them and their release from prison,” he said. “We also call on the government to meet with garment workers and accede to their demands to raise wages.”
Despite a petition in the High Court, district council elections are proceeding illegally, the BNP leader said.
“The election completely violates the provisions of the constitution. The constitution is clear about how every election is to be conducted. The district council elections are not being held directly.During Ayub Khan’s administration, the parliament and president were elected indirectly.
“In every sense Sheikh Hasina is following Ayub Khan. His authoritarian policies have been adopted by her. Ayub Khan did not tolerate opposition parties, neither does Sheikh Hasina. She wants an election with none else in the race. She is now using Ayub Khan’s policy to hold district council elections.”
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