Police have turned down a request by the BNP to use the road in front of Motijheel’s Ideal School and College as an alternative to Naya Paltan for the party’s rally on December 10.
Deputy Commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police Faruk Hossain said no approval will be given for the use of roads and residential areas for rallies, according to bdnews24.com.
“The BNP has been granted permission to use the Suhrawardy Udyan for its rally,” he said. “We have set up all security measures at the location. Police never grant people permission to block a road. No one should ask for that permission either. Police will act in accordance with the safety of the public.”
The BNP wanted to hold its December 10 rally at Naya Paltan, but the government has told the party to arrange it at the Suhrawardy Udyan instead.
Amid back-and-forth about the issue, the BNP said on Sunday that if an ‘acceptable alternative’ was found, it would be discussed.
Dhaka Police Commissioner Khandaker Golam Faruq then gave BNP leader Shahid Uddin Chowdhury Annie and Motijheel Division Deputy Commissioner Hayatul Islam the responsibility of touring the area and finding a suitable alternative.
“We want to hold a divisional rally on Dec 10,” said Annie, who is the party’s publicity secretary and a member of the divisional rally organising committee. “We will not hold a rally at Suhrawardy. We asked for the road in front of Ideal School as an alternative. We checked the area, as did the DMP.”
“We told them that the alternative location proposed was a dead-end road. And there isn’t as much traffic on Saturdays. We informed the police about our alternative location.”
“[The BNP] told us verbally about the road in front of Ideal School,” said Deputy Commissioner Hayatul Islam. “But rallies cannot be held on roads or in residential areas.”
Asked what the BNP would do now, Annie said: “We did not ask for the Suhrawardy Udyan, nor did we apply for it. We believe it is unsafe. We will not hold a programme there – that is final.”
“We hope that police will help us hold the rally at the alternative location we told them about. If they don't approve it, it will be held at Naya Paltan. We want to hold a peaceful rally. If that does not happen, they will have to bear the responsibility.”