AL won’t let BNP take control of the capital
The government will allow the BNP and its allies to hold peaceful programmes like rallies and processions but will not permit programmes like blockades and sit-ins that might lead to violence or end up paralysing the city, said sources.
Ruling party leaders said the BNP announced several road marches and rallies outside the capital but the AL is not worried about those.
They believe that the main thrust of the BNP's movement will be Dhaka-centric so that the capital gets isolated from the rest of the country.
The AL will not allow the streets of the capital to go into the hands of the BNP activists and that is why AL high-ups are keeping a close eye on the opposition's capital-centric programmes, the AL leaders said.
According to party insiders, the ruling party will not confront the opposition on the streets as it does not want any untoward incidents before the polls, slated for January.
They said law enforcement agencies will deal with the BNP if it goes for any "violent programmes".
They said the AL will hold rallies with the theme "peace and development" to counter the BNP's programmes in the capital and to show off AL's strength.
Sources in law enforcement said they have been asked not to obstruct any peaceful programmes of the BNP and its allies but take action only when the opposition goes for programmes like blockades and sit-ins.
In the days to come, police will be intensifying the monitoring of hotels, inns, the entrances to the capitals, and opposition party activists and leaders. They will set up checkpoints in the city.
According to sources, police already made a list of leaders and activists of the BNP and its allies who have outstanding arrest warrants against them. They said the police would round them up if the BNP and its allies go for "violent" programmes.
"We will be on the streets until the next election and we will not allow anyone to hold any programme in the name of a movement that may lead to violence," AL praesidium member Abdur Razzaque told The Daily Star.
"We will guard the capital so that no unwanted situation arises due to the BNP's programme. We will not allow the BNP to take control of Dhaka and isolate the capital from the rest of the country," he added.
As AL's MPs and nomination seekers are now in their own areas for campaigning, Dhaka city units (North and South) have been asked to remain alert in case the party has to deal with the BNP on the streets.
Thana and upazila units near Dhaka city have also been asked to support the city units, said sources.
At the party president's Dhanmondi office, AL secretaries will hold a meeting today with leaders of Dhaka city units and top leaders of associate bodies to decide the next course of action for the ruling party.