BNP's labour wing 'Jatiyatabadi Sramik Dal' on Tuesday alleged that they could neither hold a workers' meeting nor take out a rally in the city marking the May Day because of the denial of permission by the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP).
BNP standing committee member and noted labour leader Nazrul Islam Khan said they will lodge a complaint with the International Trade Union about depriving pro-BNP workers of their right to bring out a rally on the May Day.
"Having failed to get permission for holding a workers' rally at Suhrawardy Udyan, we yesterday (Monday) sought permission from the DMP for bringing out a rally on International Workers' Day. Police informed us that we won't be allowed to stage any worker's rally," said Sramik Dal president Anwar Hossain.
He came up with the allegation at a press conference at BNP's Nayapaltan central office, according to a UNB report.
Despite being a registered organisation, Anwar said, police did not permit them to hold a rally on the May Day. "It has demonstrated the government's autocratic and undemocratic attitude. We strongly condemn and protest the unfair act of police."
Speaking at the press meet, Nazrul Islam Khan said Bangladesh promised to ensure workers' freedom of expression as a member of the International Labour Organisation (ILO).
"Sramik Dal is the member of the International Trade Union. We used to inform them about our programmes. We'll now inform them as to why we couldn't hold our programmes on the May Day," he said.
The BNP leader said the government is showing an unfair and hostile attitude towards Sramik Dal as it is the associate body of BNP.
He said the denial of police permission for taking out a rally by Sramik Dal on the International Workers' Day has once again justified the German-based research organisation's report that the government has turned autocrat.
May 1, the International Workers' Day, is being observed in Bangladesh as elsewhere across the world on Tuesday amid various programmes highlighting the worker's rights and safety at workplaces.