BNP Barishal Rally: Permit blocked out of order over venue name


Complications arose over the BNP’s request for permission for its Nov. 5 rally venue in the town of Barishal, as the party did not use the venue’s official name.

The BNP sought permission for the rally in the city’s Bell Park, which was renamed Bangabandhu Udyan 26 years ago by the then Awami League government.

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Moniruzzaman Faruk, head of Barishal City BNP, signed the letter submitted to the deputy district commissioner on October 23.

A copy of the letter was forwarded to the Metropolitan Police Commissioner’s office in Barishal on the same day.

A senior AL official in Barishal said the application could be rejected as the BNP did not mention the real name of the place.

“The BNP may look for an alternative venue,” said the AL leader, on condition of anonymity.

Contacted, Barishal Metropolitan Police Commissioner Saiful Islam said the police were not authorized to clear the venue.

Barishal’s deputy commissioner, Jashim Uddin Haider, did not respond to the correspondent’s call. Instead, he sent an SMS asking the caller to text him.

However, the DC did not respond when he received two text messages for his comments on the matter.

Meanwhile, a large number of BNP supporters arrive in the town of Barishal to witness the rally.

They are doing this to avoid getting stuck during the transport strike around the day of the event, said Mir Jahidul Kabir, member secretary of Barishal BNP.

Harun-ur-Rashid, Secretary General of Bhola BNP, said: “We aim to send around 25,000 leaders and activists to the rally from Bhola. Many of our leaders and activists have already been there,” said .

In Pirojpur, several BNP leaders told the Daily Star that several hundred BNP men had already reached Barishal.

“They are now distributing leaflets, preparing billboards and doing other tasks,” a senior Pirojpur BNP official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

A hotel owner in Barishal said: “All my rooms have been booked by BNP men for November 4-5. Some 20-25 BNP men are already staying here.”

On October 26, an association of bus owners in Barishal submitted a memorandum to the divisional commissioner of Barishal stating that there would be a bus strike in Barishal on November 4 and 5 unless the three-wheelers were removed from the highways by November 3.

The BNP is organizing rallies in divisional towns to protest against rising prices of basic necessities. Transport strikes were called ahead of its recent rallies in Mymensingh, Khulna and Rangpur.

The BNP argues that these strikes are part of an attempt by the ruling AL to alienate its supporters.

Regarding the allegations, Interior Minister Asaduzzaman Khan and Information Minister Hasan Mahmud said on October 27 in separate broadcasts that the ruling party had nothing to do with the strikes because the associations of transport were “independent”.

However, according to reports, almost all the main transport association leaders who have called the strike are either from the ruling party or supporters of its allies.

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