Opposition BNP will be allocated Dhaka’s Suhrawardy Udyan to hold their rally on Dec 10, a senior Bangladesh government minister has confirmed.
Confirming the venue to journalists at a programme in the capital, Home Minister Asazaduzzaman Khan Kamal said he already forwarded his consent to the Dhaka Metropolitan Police, or DMP Commissioner Khandker Golam Faruq.
A delegation of BNP leaders has already put in an application with the commissioner’s office, seeking clearance to hold the rally.
The event in Dhaka will cap off the BNP’s two-month-long series of rallies held in seven divisional headquarters following Chattogram, Mymensingh, Khulna, Rangpur, Barishal, Faridpur and Sylhet. The rallies coincided with transport strikes, except for the first one in Chattogram, and coincidentally each strike was launched two days ahead of the rallies.
BNP has been alleging that the ruling Awami League influenced local and national-level transport owners into launching industrial actions so that their party members face uphill challenges to reach the venues for the previous rallies.
Brushing off any concern if the government would create such an obstacle before the rally, Asaduzzaman said: “We [the government] have always maintained that the only time we intervene is when [BNP] violates ‘political norms’. So long as they don’t violate any, there is no reason for us to bar them from holding it [the rally].”
“We [the government] will request them not to resort to any kind of violence and put in blockades, which would in turn make the public suffer.”
BNP has been holding rallies at the divisional headquarters to protest the price hike of essentials and fuel and the recent killings of five party supporters in police firings.
The party is also demanding the release of ailing BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia and the installation of a caretaker government to hold a “free and fair” general election, tentatively to be held either late next year or early 2025.