In an apparent bid to avert a possible face-off with ruling party activists, the BNP-led 20-party on Friday night postponed its Saturday’s scheduled human chain programme in the city it had called protesting the enforced disappearances of its leaders and activists.
Though the BNP leaders attributed the postponement of the programme to lack of police permission, party insiders said the decision was taken to avoid any trouble as Awami League is going to hold a rally in the city the same day.
The BNP alliance will, however, observe its programme in all other cities and district towns on Saturday.
Officials of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) said they did not give the 20-party alliance permission for its programme apprehending that there might be chaos as the ruling party has a pre-scheduled rally at Suhrawardy Udyan.
“We’ve postponed our programme as the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) didn’t give us permission for it,” BNP’s Dhaka city unit member secretary Habibun Nabi Khan Sohel told UNB on Friday night.
He said they will hold a press conference at BNP’s Nayapaltan central office at 11am on Saturday instead of forming any human chain.
Asked when they will observe the programme, Sohel said it will be announced at the press conference.
Party sources, however, said the alliance will now hold the programme on September 2 in the city. “Police have also assured us of allowing the programme on the day,” a city BNP leader said wishing anonymity.
As part of its month-long programme to mark the mourning month of August, Awami League will hold a rally at Suhrawardy Udyan on Saturday afternoon, marking the assassination of Bangabandhu and his most family members.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is scheduled to address the rally as the chief guest.
As part of its countrywide programme, the BNP-led 20-party alliance was also scheduled to form a human chain in the city at noon, marking the ’International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearance.
Earlier, the ruling party called upon BNP to postpone its programme as it coincides with their rally.
On Monday, BNP joint secretary general Rizvi Ahmed had announced the programme at a press briefing at the party’s Nayapaltan central office.