BNP to hold rally on Jan 5 even if not permitted: Zainul Abdin Farroque

Bangladesh Nationalist Party says it is going to hold a rally in the capital on January 5 to mark the day as ‘Democracy Killing Day’ even if the party does not get permission from the Dhaka Metropolitan Police. One year ago on this day, a one-sided national election was held that was boycotted by the then opposition BNP and its allies. BNP publicity secretary Zainul Abdin Farroque told reporters after coming out from DMP headquarters this noon that they would definitely try to hold its pre-announced programme if DMP declines permission. Farroque, former opposition chief whip, said they still hope that the government would give them permission for holding a ‘peaceful-rally’. A three-member delegation of BNP—for the second time—did not find any official of the DMP to learn any development regarding the permission for holding the rally. ‘They (on duty police) came up with the same statement that no police official is present and that all are busy with Ijtema in Tongi,’ said Zainul Abdin Farroque as he emerged from DMP headquarters. ‘Till now, we did not get permission,’ he said flanked by two other members of the delegation,

Dhaka city BNP joint convenor Abdul Awal Minto and assistant office secretary Abdul Latif Jony. On January 1, the first BNP delegation was told that no official was available to meet them. Farroque said an administrative officer had told them that no police official was present and that all were busy with hartal (general strike). The administrative officer had suggested them to communicate with them later. Jamaat-e-Islami, a key BNP ally had enforced the hartal on January 1. On December 22, BNP had applied to DMP for permission for holding a rally at any of the three venues, Suhrawardy Udyan, Nayapaltan or Shapla Chattar. BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia is supposed to address the rally. While responding to a reporter, Farroque said, there is no question about any ‘act of sabotage by BNP’ as the former prime minister Khaleda Zia will attend the rally.

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