Despite a ban on rallies and procession in Dhaka, Awami League activists have hit the streets of the capital in large numbers on Monday.
Amid rising tension over the first anniversary of the contentious Jan 5 parliamentary election police banned all kinds of processions, meetings and rallies since Sunday afternoon after the Awami League (AL) and the BNP announced plans for celebrations and protests for Monday.
Activists of the ruling party and its affiliates have gathered in the capital’s Karwanbazar, Bangla Motor, Kakrail, Press Club, Paltan and Motijheel areas since morning. Several processions have been taken out by the government supporters.
A huge procession was taken out led by AL’s youth front leader Ismail Hossain Samrat at Kakrail in the morning.
Ministers Quamrul Islam and Mofazzal Hossain Maya flanked by hundreds of activists, gathered at the Bangabandhu Avenue, where the party office is situated.
“We came to know that the BNP will hold a rally at any cost. But they are not on the streets. We are here to see whether they hold the proposed rally defying the ban. We are not holding any rally here,” said Quamrul Islam, the Joint Secretary General of Dhaka metropolitan unit of AL.
Awami League’s Joint Secretary General Mahbub Ul Alam Hanif also joined them. “The government banned rallies and processions, but there is no ban on gatherings.”
The Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP), however, had banned all kinds of gatherings, including rallies, meetings and processions.
DMP Joint Commissioner Monirul Islam was not available for comment.
bdnews24.com spoke with DMP’s Ramna zone Deputy Commissioner Abdul Matin, who said that they have no information about a political rally being held.
“According to our information the situation in Dhaka is normal.”
Asked whether government supporters have broken the law by gathering on streets, he said:” If someone is on the streets, we are ok with it so long as they don’t hold any rallies.”