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Unrest deepening in political arena: AL, BNP announce counter programmes

  • Esaraf Hossain
  • 29th August, 2022 10:22:17 AM
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More violent clashes between activists of the ruling Awami League and opposition BNP have been feared as both the parties have taken to streets on various political issues, including the next national election.

In the recent past, AL and BNP activists have been engaged in scuffle in different parts of the country.

In the latest development, Awami League activists swooped on a BNP rally in Narsingdi on Sunday.

Police fired rubber bullets and teargas to disperse the unruly activists of the party. At least 20 people sustained wounds, mostly rubber bullets.

On Saturday, at least 20 people were injured as AL activists allegedly launched attacks on the protest rallies of BNP in Khulna and Magura.

Besides this, activists of Awami League and its student wing Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) attacked houses of four BNP leaders in Jashore, vandalised its Khulna office and locked its Munshiganj office, BNP leaders alleged.

A public meeting of BNP will be organised at the bus stand of Raipur Upazila of Laxmipur today. The party has sent a letter to the local administration, informing about this prescheduled event.

At the same time, Raipur upazila and municipal Awami Swechchasebak League announced protest and mourning rallies at the same place.

Earlier on August 24, BNP was scheduled to hold a rally at the bus stand in the capital to protest against a rise in fuel, transport fares and commodity prices.

But at the same time, Awami League organised a meeting of mourning and a protest programme at the same place.

As a result, BNP postponed their rally. However, Awami League held their mourning and protest march as usual.

According to BNP sources, a letter for permission to hold the rally was given to Raipur Police Station Officer-in-Charge on behalf of Raipur Upazila BNP.

The police were requested to maintain law and order in and around the meeting venue from 2pm to 6pm that day.

Meanwhile, a letter titled 'Emergency Notice' was circulated on Facebook yesterday on the pad of Awami Swachhasebak League Raipur Upazila and Municipal Branch Committee. Upazila Swachhasebok League convener Tanveer Haider Chowdhury and eight joint conveners signed it on August 26.

Tanveer Haider said, "We do not know whether there is any programme of BNP at the bus stand that day or not." This programme in the month of mourning is predetermined by us. We will hold our mourning and protest programmes at the scheduled time.

Upazila BNP President Monirul Islam Howladar said that Awami League has foiled the prescheduled public meeting of BNP before.

“We’ve postponed the public meeting on the request of the administration to avoid chaos.”

Officer-in-Charge of Raipur Police Station Shipon Barua said that measures will be taken after talking to the higher authorities about the matter.

“No one will be allowed to create unrest in the name of meeting. However, the police are on alert.

Meanwhile, police have filed a case against 494 people, including BNP Joint Secretary General AMM Mahbub Uddin, for attacking police during the BNP-Awami League clash in Sonaimuri of Noakhali.

The case was filed by Sub-Inspector of Sonaimuri Police Station Shah Alam on Saturday night.

At least 15 leaders and activists of both sides were injured in this incident. Later, the police chased activists of two parties and brought the situation under control.

In another incident, BNP and BCL have postponed their programmes after the administration issued Section 144 at Baraichhari Sadar of Kaptai Upazila in Rangamati.

Since Sunday morning, the leaders and workers of both parties have not entered the field, including Kaptai Upazila headquarters.

Earlier, BNP announced a protest rally for Sunday as part of the central programme to protest against an abnormal increase in the prices of essential commodities and the killings of two leaders in police firing in Bhola.

At the same time, BCL announced a protest march and a rally demanding the hanging of BNP Acting Chairman Tarique Rahman.

In such a situation, the local administration issued Section 144 on Saturday night. Section 144 which started at 6am continued till 6pm.

According to the notification signed by Upazila Nirbahi Officer Muntasir Jahan, if the country's two largest political parties hold programmes at the same time and at the same place, it may cause difficulties in public life.

There is also a danger of disruption of peace and order. Because of this section 144 has been issued. Upazila BNP president Lokman Ahmed told journalists that the programme was postponed.

Meanwhile, former General Secretary of Upazila Chhatra League AR Limon said they announced a protest programme to demand the hanging of Tarique Rahman, the mastermind of the August 21 grenade attack.

But, the administration issued Section 144 as BNP called a rally at the same place on the same day. So, BCL postponed the rally, showing respect to the law, he added.