Ruling Awami League along with its associate bodies has decided to deal with the opposition BNP's dawn to dusk hartal "politically" but warned the government will go tough on violence during any enforced stoppage.
The Ministry of Home Affairs is determined to tackle opposition's attempt to "destabilise the country" and will deal sternly with anyone trying to cause chaos and anarchy in the name of hartal, sources in the government and AL said on Sunday.
Additional police and Rapid Action Battalion have been deployed across the country ahead of the proposed hartal today. Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) also joined them to maintain law and order.
Director for media of RAB, Commander Mufti Mahmud, told the Daily Observer, "Extra RAB forces have been deployed in the city to reinforce security."
"BGB members will deploy across the country," Mohashin Reza, BGB Public Relations Officer, said.
State Minister for Home Affairs Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal on Sunday warned BNP that "Stern action will be taken if the party creates any untoward situation in the country in the name of hartal." "Law enforcers are ready to strike back at troublemakers," he added.
AL Presidium Member and Minister for Road Transport and Bridges, Obaidul Quader warned the BNP that should there be any violence in course of a hartal or movement the government will respond appropriately. He advised BNP to exercise its democratic rights in a peaceful way.
"No responsible authority would allow violence however lofty the ideals are, "he warned.
AL Joint General Secretary Mahbubul Alam Hanif said, "People didn't respond to the hartal call of BNP in Gazipur and they will not respond this time also as the BNP activists and cronies kill people by blasting bombs and damage, vandalise and torch public and private properties."
"To BNP, democracy means anarchy, nothing else," he said.
"AL and its associates will face them in the political field," he warned.
AL Presidium Member and 14-party spokesperson Mohammad Nasim said, "people will not respond to BNP's hartal call, instead they will resist them."
City AL Joint General Secretary Quamrul Islam threatened, "If BNP and its miscreants try to create anarchy in the country they should face same fate like BNP leader Goyeshwar and Juba Dal President Moazzem Hossain Alal."
Police have arrested the duo over last two days from their homes in the capital. BNP says many other party leaders have been hounded by police and are on the run.
The BNP-led 20-party alliance has called for countrywide dawn- to- dusk hartal for today protesting arrest of the party leaders and restrictions imposed by police and local administration on its Gazipur rally scheduled for December 27.
In protest, the alliance called for a daylong strike in Gazipur on Saturday that failed to draw public support and life in Gazipur remained almost normal under strict watch of law enforcing agencies.