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Four refusals in 34 days: BNP denied permission to hold rallies in Dhaka

  • Published at 07:52 pm March 31st, 2018
Four refusals in 34 days: BNP denied permission to hold rallies in Dhaka
The BNP had announced four rallies in Dhaka following the incarceration of its chairperson Khaleda Zia in a graft case. The Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) authorities, however, refused to grant BNP permission for the programs four times in the last 34 days. DMP explained that BNP is being denied permission based on intelligence reports. Speaking to the correspondent, DMP Deputy Commissioner (Media) Masudur Rahman said: “BNP did not get permission to hold rallies because analysis of intelligence reports indicated that these programs could pose a threat to public security. “However, the party was given permission to hold a discussion program at the Institution of Engineers, Bangladesh (IEB) in Dhaka on March 30.”

Permission denied

The 29th and 30th provisions of DMP Ordinance, 1976 empower the DMP commissioner to ban rallies and programs in the city. The 29th provision states: “The DMP commissioner may, by order in writing, prohibit any assembly or procession whenever and for so long as he considers such prohibition to be necessary for the preservation of public peace or safety provided that no such prohibition shall remain in force for more than thirty days without the sanction of the Government.” Meanwhile, The 30th provision states: “The commissioner may, by public notice, temporarily reserve for any public purpose any street or public place and prohibit persons from entering the area so reserved except under such conditions as may be specified by him.” The correspondent has learned that representatives from BNP met with police officials at the DMP headquarters a number of times, along with submitting numerous written applications, for securing permission for their programs. After failing to get a positive response from the DMP, BNP leaders later met with the home minister. According to sources, BNP leaders met with the DMP commissioner on February 19 to seek police permission for a rally on February 22. The commissioner denied the permission citing legal issues. The party received the same police response while seeking permission for two more rallies on March 12 and 19. On Tuesday, a BNP delegation led by the party’s Standing Committee member Nazrul Islam Khan held a meeting with Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan at the latter’s office. The minister told them that only the DMP has the jurisdiction to allow rallies in Dhaka. Most recently, BNP was denied permission for holding a rally on March 29. Announcing that the program had been cancelled on Wednesday, BNP Senior Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi at a press conference said: “The home minister had told us that the police will grant us permission based on intelligence report. “But now it has been proven that the country is being run by the police, because the Awami League’s political power is fading away.” Suhrawardy Udyan is a common venue for political programs. Workers Party held a rally here on March 3, Awami League on March 7 and Jatiya Party on March 24. A number of Islamic parties, backed by the government, have held rallies there this year. Commenting on the issue, Awami League Joint General Secretary Mahbub ul Alam Hanif said: “Awami League does not hand out permission for rallies, it is done by the DMP. “The DMP can provide an explanation on why the BNP is being denied permission for rallies.”   This article was first published in banglatribune.com
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