BNP will resist if attacked
The BNP will instantly go for tough programmes if it is not allowed to hold its grand rally in front of its Nayapaltan headquarters tomorrow, party leaders said.
A march towards or laying siege to important establishments and road and waterway blockades will be on the cards, party sources said.
They said programmes for their movement, demanding the resignation of the government and elections under a non-partisan interim government, could then be made nationwide.
However, the party leaders will return home if the BNP is allowed to hold the rally peacefully, said party leaders, adding that they want peace but would defend themselves if attacked.
The BNP leaders said they would not have the rally elsewhere, and that was why the party did not mention an alternative venue while seeking permission from the Dhaka Metropolitan Police.
The DMP urged the BNP to name an alternate, but the party said no, citing arrangements already made at Nayapaltan.
"We had observed programmes defying all odds and obstacles earlier and will do so this time too," Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury, standing committee member of the party, told The Daily Star yesterday.
The top brass of the BNP held a series of meetings with its front and associate bodies and also with district unit leaders to take stock of the situation and finalise the party's next course of action.
"Seeing the attitude of the government and the law enforcers, the movement programmes will be finalised," a senior leader said.
Taking lessons from the December 10 rally, party top brass asked BNP leaders and activists not to make any provocative comments. Last year, senior leaders were arrested and the party office was raided.
BNP Senior Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi said the rally would be peaceful despite the "provocative" comments by ruling party leaders.
He claimed that over 1,200 leaders and activists were arrested over the last few days.
To join the rally, BNP leaders and activists have already reached Dhaka. Those from nearby districts will reach Dhaka tonight or early tomorrow.
Unlike other times, the party leaders and activists are reaching the capital on public transport.
The BNP leaders said a three-tier leadership system was introduced so that the activists are not without a leader if a leader is arrested.
The party asked its activists to be aware of rumours spread through social media and to ask their unit leaders if there was any confusion.
Leaders of the party said a volunteer team, 550 strong, will maintain discipline at the rally.
During a visit to the party office, a thin presence of BNP activists was seen as the party asked its leaders and activists not to roam around the office after arriving in Dhaka.