Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader has announced countrywide peace rallies for Sunday, claiming that the hartal planned by the BNP as a tool of protest will not work anymore.
Addressing ruling party supporters at Friday’s rally in front of Baitul Mukarram Mosque in Dhaka on Saturday, Quaders said the BNP chose violence in the name of a “peaceful rally”.
“You’ve seen today how dirty, terrorising and arson-conducting they are. We will go after them,” he said. “No one will accept their chaotic strike. Hartal is a blunt tool of protest and will not work anymore.”
Quader then declared so-called “peace rallies” in metropolitan areas, districts and Upazilas, saying: “We want peace ahead of the general election in the face of terrorism and bloodshed. We want peace before and after the election.”
Jamaat-e-Islami wrapped up its rally in Dhaka's Motijheel despite failing to secure police permission for the gathering, while violent clashes marred a separate rally by the BNP, the largest opposition group.
The BNP launched its antigovernment rally in Dhaka’s Naya Paltan, but the event was called off after clashes with police and Awami League activists at the Kakrail intersection, prompting the opposition party to announce a day-long nationwide strike for Sunday.
“Be prepared. We will face off against these terrorists in the days ahead and will teach them a lesson. Their conduct is as it was before. I want to make it clear that their crimes won’t be forgiven,” Quader said.
Quader mentioned that the BNP’s “great journey” has turned into a “deadly journey”.
The attacks on the home of the chief justice and police would not go unpunished, he said. “The police were set upon by the BNP supporters, while a policeman died. We must not be lenient to the attackers.”
A constable died from injuries suffered during violent clashes between law enforcers and the BNP at the Dainik Bangla intersection. Police said he suffered an injury to the head and was taken to Dhaka Medical College Hospital in critical condition, where doctors declared him dead on Saturday.
“They’ve crossed a line, wielding weapons and bombs, and their dirtiness will be paid in full with punishment.”
Quader called for heightened caution in residential areas and asked everyone to stay vigilant.