DHAKA: Law enforcers have taken a series of measures to prevent BNP supporters from entering the capital so they cannot gather on the streets centring on tomorrow’s expected verdict in a corruption case against Khaleda Zia.
Bangladesh braced for possible unrest ahead of a court verdict in the corruption trial of former prime minister and opposition BNP chief Khaleda Zia amid escalating tensions.
As part of the move, police have already set up additional checkpoints at all the eight entry points to the capital. Also, law enforcers may cut off the capital from the rest of the country to prevent BNP men from coming to the city, police sources said.
The DMP imposed a ban on procession, effective from 4:00am tomorrow until further notice, said a DMP release yesterday, adding it had intelligence about possible subversive activities.
Most of the 35,000-strong forces of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police will be deployed on the streets. Normally, some 8,000 police members are deployed every day.
“We will be on the hard line. No one will be allowed to gather or bring out processions on the street,” a deputy commissioner of DMP told local media.
The ruling Awami League has also announced that its leaders and activists will be on the streets to prevent BNP men from carrying out any attack.
An owner of a private bus service on Dhaka-Satkhira route said police instructed them not to rent out any bus for reserve passengers and take steps so that fewer buses ply tonight.
An official of Shyamoli Paribahan, one of the largest private bus operators, said they would not operate any bus tomorrow, although they did not receive any such instructions.
The BNP instructed its leaders and activists to stage peaceful demonstrations in their areas, but a large number of them are expected to travel to the capital ahead of the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case verdict.
Khaleda, her son Tarique Rahman, also BNP’s second man, and four others are accused of misappropriating money from the Trust. Khaleda denies the charges.
Police said there will be additional checkpoints at all the eight city entry points at Postogola Bridge, Sadarghat, Abdullahpur Bridge, Dhaur Bridge in Ashulia, Babubazar Bridge, Gabtoli, Jatrabari and Sultana Kamal Bridge at Demra.
Each of these points already has one or two checkpoints, they added.
Ibrahim Khan, deputy commissioner (Lalbagh division) of DMP, said vehicles entering the capital would have to go through security checks so that no one could enter the city with anything that caused destruction.