Bangladesh’s Minister for Home Affairs Asaduzzaman Khan says the country’s law enforcement agencies will not stay quiet if members of the opposition BNP attempt to block roads and disrupt people’s lives.
However, he said the government would not object if BNP sticks to the usual political activities, such as meetings, rallies, and campaigning.
“We are not objecting to their run-of-the-mill political activities like meetings, rallies and other campaign-related activities," he said while speaking to journalists after a planning meeting on maintaining law and order during National Mourning Day on Aug 15.
"They are holding meetings every day in front of the National Press Club, and we are not obstructing them. However, if they try to block roads and disrupt people’s lives, law enforcers won’t stand idle. They will do what they are trained to do,”
When prompted about the chances of the BNP participating in the next election, the minister said it is up to the party’s policymakers whether it would take part in the upcoming election or not.
“People will decide whether they will back the BNP’s call for a movement. However, I know for a fact that people will not go back to an age of darkness.”
Bangladesh may go for polls in late 2023 or early 2024, depending on the schedule set by the country’s Election Commission.
The minister also dismissed notions that remnants of Islamist militant groups still exist in the country.
“IS [Islamic State] militants do not exist in the country. The people do not accept them. We have seen relatives who have refused to accept their dead bodies [after they were killed in clashes with law enforcers] and mothers who turned their children in."
“Absconding known militants like Zia [Ziaul Haque] and Salehin [Salahuddin Salehin] will keep dreaming. They will not be able to do anything anymore.”
This year on Aug 15, River Police will patrol the area around Dhanmondi Lake as a part of the security measures.
Security measures will be strengthened on Aug 15, Aug 17 and Aug 21 across the country.
Kamal also said cyber detectives will keep monitoring social media so that no one can spread misinformation and rumours.