Dhaka Metropolitan Police Commissioner Khandaker Golam Faruk said police will take stern action if BNP tries to hold a rally on the streets, ignoring official directives.
He made the remarks while addressing an emergency press conference at the DMP Media Centre on Wednesday regarding the security of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) divisional rally in Dhaka.
He said, "We have come to know through intelligence agencies and the media that the BNP can create an unstable situation by gathering one million people in the capital city. So they cannot be allowed to hold a rally in front of the party office by causing public trouble and disrupting law and order in Dhaka."
"You can go to any open field. We also proposed that they hold the rally on Ijtema Ground, which can accommodate one million people. Trade fair grounds in Purbachal can be another option for them," he said.
"The first reason is that there will be no space for so many people in Paltan. If they still gather there, the remaining 9 lakh people will be scattered in different places in Dhaka city. BNP or police will have no control over it," said the DMP commissioner.
"Secondly, if one million people occupy all the roads of Dhaka, it will be a matter of extreme suffering for the people of Dhaka," he said.
"The first reason is that there will be no space for so many people in Paltan. If they still gather there, the remaining 9 lakh people will be scattered in different places in Dhaka city. BNP or police will have no control over it," said DMP commissioner.
He said, "They were allowed to assemble at Suhrawardy Udyan. Later, I learned through the media that they are not interested in holding a rally at Suhrawardy Udyan. They are interested in any road around Paltan." Golam Faruk said, "In this context, our clear statement is that the rally should be held in Suhrawardy Udyan or any similar open ground. We have taken this decision to prioritise public suffering and public safety."
BNP has organised nine divisional rallies to protest against the abnormal increase in the prices of essential commodities, including fuel oil, the killing of their leaders and activists, the release of Khaleda Zia, and elections under a non-partisan government.
The last mass rally will be held in Dhaka on December 10. The government and BNP are now facing off over the venue of the rally.
The BNP submitted a written request to the Dhaka Metropolitan Police Commissioner to hold a rally in front of the party office in Nayapaltan. But the police allowed them to assemble at Suhrawardy Udyan on 26 conditions. The debate has been going on for a few days.