Rallies banned, security tightened in Bangladesh

Political rallies were on Friday banned in Gazipur on the outskirts of the Bangladeshi capital as opposition BNP and ruling Awami League's student wing planned rival demonstrations at the same venue.

Dhaka: Political rallies were on Friday banned in Gazipur on the outskirts of the Bangladeshi capital as opposition BNP and ruling Awami League's student wing planned rival demonstrations at the same venue.

Permission was denied to both the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and Awami League's student outfit Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) to hold rallies and a ban was imposed on all gatherings there, bdnews24.Com reported.

Superintendent of Police Harunur Rashid said an indefinite ban was imposed on all gatherings from 2 pm until further notice.

"We're not allowing anyone to hold rally there as they have failed to reach a consensus," he said.

Gazipur Deputy Commissioner Nurul Islam said neither the BNP nor the BCL had been granted rally permission.

The Chhatra League ultimatum followed the Tarique Rahman's comment about the nation's founding father Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman from London in the month of victory, he said.

"I seek their help in finding a solution for a relief to the residents of Gazipur."

"If that doesn't happen, we will have to take lawful steps. We will not allow the public life to be disrupted," he said.

Usually such tension calls for the enforcement of Section 144 banning all gatherings. The buzz of that happening in Gazipur was in the air from yesterday.

An hour before the DC spoke to the reporters, BNP's acting Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said that they had followed all the procedures for the permission to hold the rally, and that the local administration had assured them of it.

"We want to make it clear that the rally will be held tomorrow. We'll certainly go to Gazipur tomorrow. "

The Gazipur rally had been announced earlier as a part of BNP chief Khaleda Zia's campaign across districts.

Later, the Awami League's student affiliate, BCL, announced a similar programme at the same venue on the same day to thwart the BNP gathering following Tarique's remark.

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