Ruhul Kabir Rijvi, joint secretary general of the BNP, talks to reporters at the party's Nayapaltan central office on Friday. Photo: TV grab
Though law enforcement agencies today cordoned off BNP's Nayapaltan headquarters, police have decided to allow the BNP-led 20-party alliance to carry on with its Saturday’s black flag silent procession protesting Israeli offensive on Gaza Strip.
More than 100 policemen along with plainclothes intelligence officers started gathering around the BNP office since 8:00 in the morning, an office staff of the party told The Daily Star.
Due to the cordoning off, Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal and various other front organisations of the party could not celebrate BNP chief Khaleda Zia's birthday programme today at the office.
Police barred a group of BNP men around 9:00am when they tried to enter the office to take part in Khaleda's birthday programme and to take preparation for opposition's silent procession tomorrow in the capital and elsewhere in the country.
In between 9:30am and 10:30am, BNP Joint Secretary General Rizvi Ahmed, Khaleda's adviser Shamsuzzaman Dudu and three other BNP leaders could enter the office.
Later, in a hurriedly called press briefing at the party office, Rizvi lambasted the Hasina government for cordoning off the BNP office ahead of Saturday's programme.
The BNP-led 20-party alliance last week decided to hold a black flag procession across the country protesting killing of Palestinian people.
Rizvi in the briefing said police cordoned off the BNP office showing lame excuses to make it a cage.
About tomorrow's silent procession in the capital, Rizvi told The Daily Star that they got assurance from the DMP to arrange the programme. "But the Dhaka Metropolitan Police is yet to give us permission in written," added Rizvi.
Ashrafuzzaman, deputy commissioner (Motijheel zone) of DMP, however denied BNP's allegation saying that they have only beefed up security in the capital on the occasion of National Mourning Day.
On the opposition's silent procession, he said the DMP has given permission to BNP to hold its peaceful programme.