Alleges BNP, vows to 'resist any sort of obstructions'
Amid widespread arrests and political tension, the main opposition BNP and its allies have almost completed their preparations for holding a grand rally in the city tomorrow.
Party leaders hoped lakhs of people from across the country will join the rally to hear BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia in front of the party's central office at Nayapaltan.
Besides declaring expansion of the BNP-led four-party alliance, Khaleda is also expected to announce a fresh agitation programme to mount pressure on the government for restoration of the caretaker government system in the constitution, party insiders said.
The BNP high-ups have instructed its activists to take instant position on the streets and retaliate to stay on, if obstructed by the ruling party men on their way to the rally.
Accusing the government of arresting over 3,000 party activists till yesterday, BNP acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said the state is playing the role of criminals to foil the rally and the government has enforced a reign of terror in the country.
“The government has started an undeclared war against the people. It could have disallowed us holding the rally if there were any specific laws against it,” he told a press briefing at the party's central office.
He alleged that police have been directed to stop people heading for the grand rally from the district and upazila towns.
“Restriction has also been imposed on the movement of inter-district buses, launches and steamers as well as on issuance of train tickets and booking rooms in city hotels so that the BNP men cannot join the rally,” he mentioned adding, the administration has cancelled the reservations of buses and launches made by his party men.
“Even police didn't give permission to start the work for setting up a stage and use loudspeakers. But we will start the work from today [Saturday],” maintained the BNP leader.
Fakhrul further asserted that despite all these obstructions, the rally will be a turning point in the country's politics.
Party insiders said BNP has adopted strong security measures taking the “aggressive remarks” of some ruling party leaders into serious consideration.
Party's own security members, volunteers and special teams comprised of 1,300 persons are ready to ensure safety of the supporters and activists of BNP.
A total of 36 medical teams comprised of pro-BNP doctors and nurses will provide medical treatment to the activists, if necessary.
Enthusiasm among the party men over the rally is also evident. The Nayapaltan area has worn a festive look with illumination of party office buildings, hanging of colourful banners, festoons and portraits of party leaders.
Loudspeakers will be installed from Motijheel to Shahbag and Motijheel to Malibagh level crossing via Nayapaltan and Shantinagar.
Khaleda's address will be shown on 12 big screens to be installed at different spots. Her speech will also be broadcast live on the website www.bnplive.com.
Khaleda Zia from a Chittagong rally on January 9 had declared “Dhaka Cholo” (March towards Dhaka) programme as part of her party's anti-government movement to realise the demand for restoring the caretaker government system.