DHAKA: Bangladesh police yesterday banned all rallies in the capital Dhaka, fearing violence after the opposition called for “armed” protests to force elections under a caretaker government.
The ban comes after an official from the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) urged supporters to stage non-stop protests starting October 25 armed with machetes and knives.
All rallies, demonstrations and mass gatherings have been banned as a result of the opposition’s protest call, which could “lead to (the) deterioration of law and order and security” in the capital, said Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) chief Benazir Ahmed.
Police have imposed the ban indefinitely, DMP deputy chief Monirul Islam told reporters.
The BNP and its Islamists allies have set the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina an October 24 deadline to agree to their demand to hold upcoming parliamentary elections under a neutral caretaker government.
The BNP is leading in opinion polls ahead of the elections which must be held by January 2014.