City dwellers fear bloody clashes between the activists of Awami League and BNP-Jamaat as opposition BNP and its like-minded parties will bring out mass processions in Dhaka city today while AL activists will remain on the streets.
As both the rival political parties announced taking to the streets in the capital on the same day, there is a possibility of clashes between them.
He disclosed this at a press conference organised at the party's central office in Nayapaltan on Thursday.
Zahid Hossain said, “Our procession will be peaceful. The activists will gather at Nayapaltan at 2:00pmon Friday.”
The procession will start from in front of the party's central office, pass through Kakrail, Shantinagar, Malibagh and reach Moghbazar intersection, and end at Nayapaltan.
Urging the people of Dhaka to make the mass procession a success, Dr Zahid said, “Holding mass procession is our constitutional right. That is why we went to the DMP office to seek the help of law enforcement agencies. DMP will give us full cooperation.”
On December 10, the party announced holding mass processions across the country on December 24.
Later, BNP rescheduled its mass rally in Dhaka on December 30.
On the other hand, alongside BNP, its like-minded Jamaat-e-Islami and its student wing Islami Chhatra Shibir men are also reportedly preparing for a showdown in the capital on Friday. On the same day, the main opposition BNP and its political allies will hold anti-government mass processions in the city.
According to Jamaat sources, the party has already held a preliminary meeting in this regard in which its leaders and activists across the country have been ordered to arrive in the capital ahead of the programme. Police also stand ready and "will show zero tolerance" against Jamaat and its student wing Islami Chhatra Shibir if they bring out any procession in Dhaka, said several sources from the Police Headquarters.
They [Jamaat] have already launched attacks on policemen in different parts of the country.
Police also detained several leaders and activists of the party, filed a few cases in Chattogram, Lakshmipur, Noakhali, Kishoreganj, Joypurhat, Bagerhat and a few other places, and seized crude bombs from the possessions of Jamaat men.
On December 24, Jamaat joined the BNP's countrywide simultaneous movement by bringing out their own processions, ignoring all obstacles.
The grassroots-level leaders and activists of Jamaat are now willing to wage a tougher anti-government programme, alongside the BNP.
Joined by the Jamaat-e-Islami, Ganatanra Mancha, the 12-party alliance, LDP and others, the BNP on December 24 staged mass processions across the country to press home its 10-point demand, including immediate resignation of the government, elections under a nonpartisan caretaker government and release of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia and other senior leaders.
Meanwhile, as a counter measure, the ruling Awami League general secretary also announced their party’s programme on the same day.
Awami League general secretary and road transport and bridges minister Obaidul Quader on Thursday said that the Awami League would remain vigilant on the day of the BNP’s pre-announced mass procession.
The Awami League leader made the comment, replying to a journalist’s question, at a press conference in his ministry’s meeting room at the Secretariat in Dhaka.
The AL general secretary said that the BNP would commit violence in the name of rally.