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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

B’desh: Govt party and opposition party’s counter position, arrests started by the police

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Dhaka: Despite the tensions and heat, BNP and Awami League’s rallies in Dhaka yesterday, Friday, ended peacefully. That is a matter of relief. Today, Saturday, however, BNP is staging sit-in progammes at the entry points to Dhaka. And Awami League has said they will keep these programmes under strict watch.

Meanwhile, Dhaka Metropolitan Police last night stated in a press release that no one had been given permission to stage sit-ins at Dhaka entry points. Their statement indicated that action may be taken concerning the sit-in programmes at the entry points.

In this backdrop, apprehensions arise again as to what turn the situation may take.

So far the two parties have been holding programmes and counter programmes on the same day, but at different venues. This time, however, BNP is to stage sit-ins at the city’s entry points. And it is also at the entry points that Awami League and its affiliated organisations say they will remain on vigil.

From the beginning of BNP’s simultaneous movement in December, Awami League has been holding counter programmes on the same days as BNP’s programmes. For quite some time now both the party’s programmes have been peaceful. But now people are questioning whether both sides are headed toward unrest and conflict. Several analysts believe that the stand of the parties concerning the crisis emerging over the issue of the election-time government, is instigating fears of violence.

The leaders of both parties are blaming each other for the situation. Speaking to this correspondent, BNP standing committee member Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury said they have given their leaders and activists strict instructions to ensure that the sit-in programmes were held peacefully. If there was any unrest, the government would have to take responsibility.

Awami League, however, feels that BNP is taking up programmes that may spark off violence. The party’s joint general secretary Mahbub Ul Alam Hanif told this correspondent, “We are remaining alert on the streets so that BNP cannot create any disorder. That is why there hasn’t been any clashes or violence so long.”

Political analysts feel that BNP is, in effect, wanting to block the capital by staging these sit-ins. It is difficult to say how peaceful the situation will remain, with the ruling quarters saying they will remain on alert at these spots.

Former election commissioner Brig. Gen. Sakhawat Hossain (retd), speaking to this correspondent that, the two parties are leading towards clashes with the sit-ins at the entry points to the capital city and the vigilant watch by the other side. He feels it will b difficult to keep the situation under control.

The two rallies held in Dhaka yesterday, Friday, were not far from each other, but were carried off peacefully. But before yesterday’s BNP grand rally, there had been tensions over permission for the rally. Police had detained and arrested people too. In other words, the authorities are taking up a stern stance.

In the meantime, BNP and other parties and alliances in the movement have taken up sit-in programmes at the important entry points of Dhaka, despite it being a government holiday for Ashura. BNP has said that their one-point movement is not at its final stages. The party, at this juncture, is planning on holding one programme after the other.

A standing committee member of BNP has said that they want to step up pressure on the government with one programme after the other. Already the crowds have been increasing at BNP’s rallies. Tensions increase too. The leaders’ speeches at the rallies of both the parties are also becoming instigative.

It is still not clear how the political crisis can be resolved. Neither side is willing to relent. There had been talk of dialogue, but that has not happened. Neither side are talking about dialogue or compromise now. The government, however, has more responsibility about initiating dialogue.

Former MP Dhaka-17 and BNF chairman Abul Kalam Azad, speaking to this correspondent that, neither side has taken any initiative for dialogue. We don’t hear of any third party coming with any initiative for dialogue either. We on behalf of the party have appealed to both parties to exercise patience on the occasion of Ashura.

The police have already arrested Dhaka Metropolitan North BNP convener Amanullah Aman from BNP’s sit-in program at Gabtali in the capital.

Amanullah was taken away in a police van at around 12:30 p.m. this Saturday. At around 11 o’clock today, BNP leaders-activists under the leadership of Amanullah Aman took a position on one side of the road in front of the bus counter of Khalek Paribahan. Awami League leaders and workers also took a position at a close distance. Awami League workers arrested at least five leaders and workers of BNP and handed them over to the police.

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