Rallies banned, paramilitary soldiers deployed in Bangladesh

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, October 24, 2013
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Paramilitary soldiers have been deployed in Bangladesh's premier seaport city Chittagong and elsewhere in the country to thwart any untoward incident over the opposition's plans to hold rallies defying police bans.

Border Guard Bangladesh(BGB, formerly known as BDR ) troops guard strategic points of Chittagong, some 242 km southeast of capital Dhaka.

Deputy Commissioner Masud-ul Hasan of Chittagong Metropolitan Police (CMP) told reporters that "BGB troops were out patrolling different areas of the seaport city since 11 a.m. Thursday.'

According to the sources, BGB deployment has been done initially in a limited scale but the force have been asked to remain ready to carry out any further order.

The CMP has imposed an indefinite ban on political rallies in the seaport city from Thursday in the wake of growing tension over the ruling and the opposition parties' announcement of holding rallies at Laldighi Maidan, a mega meeting place, in the port city.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's ruling Bangladesh Awami League ( AL) party decided to hold indoor rallies following the ban but its arch rival Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) declared to hold rally and defy the ban.

Paramilitary soldiers BGB have also been deployed in Bangladesh 's Bogra district, some 197 northwest of capital Dhaka, after AL and BNP had announced to hold separate rallies at the venues at the same time.

To ward off any untoward incident, local administration clamped ban on gathering in the entire municipality area of Bogra, the home district of BNP's Founder and late Bangladesh president Ziaur Rahman, from 6:00 p.m. local time Friday.

Tense political standoff over the non-party caretaker government system culminated with both the ruling and opposition parties calling rallies on Friday in Dhaka and elsewhere in the country to stage showdown.

Security has been beefed up in places in Dhaka since Thursday morning.

Dhaka Metropolitan Police on last Saturday imposed an indefinite ban on meetings, processions and rallies in capital Dhaka from Sunday morning, a step the opposition described as an attempt to mute dissenting voices.

In an apparent move to de-escalate tension between ruling and opposition parties, Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Oct. 18 proposed an all-party government be set up to hold general elections in the South Asian country.

But ex-Prime Minister Khaleda Zia's BNP has rejected Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's all-party interim government proposal and tabled a new formula for administration to oversee elections slated for early 2014.

Regarding the opposition chief's proposal, ruling party says its unrealistic but AL will ask BNP for dialogue to reach consensus about the polls-time government. Endi

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