BNP Barishal Rally: Permit stuck in mess over venue name
Complications have arisen over the BNP's seeking permission for its November-5 rally venue in Barishal city, 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 26 years ago to Bangabandhu Udyan by the then Awami League government.
Moniruzzaman Faruk, convener of Barishal City BNP, signed the letter submitted to the district's deputy commissioner on October 23.
A copy of the letter was forwarded to the office of Barishal Metropolitan Police Commissioner the same day.
A senior AL leader in Barishal said the application might get rejected as the BNP did not mention the venue's actual name.
"The BNP may look for an alternative venue," said the AL leader, seeking anonymity.
Contacted, Barishal Metropolitan Police Commissioner Saiful Islam said police were not authorised to give permission for the venue.
Barishal Deputy Commissioner Jashim Uddin Haider did not answer the correspondent's call. Instead, he sent an SMS asking the correspondent to text him.
However, the DC did not reply when he was texted twice for his comments over the matter.
Meanwhile, large numbers of BNP supporters are arriving in Barishal city to attend the rally.
They are doing this to avoid being stuck during the transport strike around the day of the event, said Mir Jahidul Kabir, member secretary of Barishal BNP.
Harun-ur-Rashid, general secretary of Bhola BNP, said "We have a target to send around 25,000 leaders and activists to the rally from Bhola. Many of our leaders and activists have already gone there," said.
In Pirojpur, multiple 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," said a senior leader of Pirojpur BNP, seeking anonymity.
A hotel owner in Barishal said, "All of my rooms have been booked by BNP men for November 4 and 5. Some 20 to 25 BNP men are already staying here."
On October 26, an association of bus owners in Barishal submitted a memorandum to the Barishal divisional commissioner stating that there would be a bus strike in Barishal on November 4 and 5, unless three-wheelers were taken off the highways by November 3.
The BNP has been holding rallies in the divisional cities to protest the price hike of essentials. Transport strikes were called ahead of its recent rallies in Mymensingh, Khulna, and Rangpur.
The BNP maintains that these strikes are part of an attempt by the ruling AL to keep its supporters away.
About these allegations, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan and Information Minister Hasan Mahmud at separate programmes on October 27 said the ruling party had nothing to do with the strikes as transport associations were "independent".
However, according to reports, almost all the top leaders of the transport associations that called the strikes are either of the ruling party or are supporters of its allies.