Police have reportedly found improvised explosives at the BNP office in Naya Paltan

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Published on December 8, 2022
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A huge number of bombs and firearms have been recovered from the Opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP)'s central office at Naya Paltan area in the capital Dhaka, and three persons, including BNP senior joint secretary Rizvi Ahmed, were arrested from the party office.

Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) Joint Commissioner Biplab Kumar Sarkar gave this information while talking to reporters in Naya Paltan on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, DMP Commissioner Khandkar Golam Farooq on Wednesday said that the police conducted a raid at the BNP's Naya Paltan central office getting secret information that BNP has stored a huge number of firearms and cocktails there for sabotage. They were gathering in front of the party office without prior permission.

He added this while addressing an emergency press conference on the security of the BNP's upcoming Dhaka Divisional grand rally at the DMP Media Centre in Dhaka.

The DMP Commissioner said, "We are hearing that there have been many cocktail explosions from the BNP office. I have also heard that firearms, cocktails, and sticks have been stored there. We have increased the number of the police force there for the sake of security."

It is not desirable to block the road on such a day and disrupt traffic, he added.

"As far as I know, their rally is on December 10. Today was an official day. On this day, they were occupying Naya Paltan road and holding an illegal rally. It is not legal to gather on the road."

When asked about police harassment, the Commissioner said, "There was no such information. There are regular checkposts. The reason is that we are conducting a special operation from December 1 ahead of upcoming big events like the 'Victory Day'. We have set up checkposts as part of the security measures to prevent any kind of untoward incident and avert sabotage. We have not detained or stopped any passenger on their way to Dhaka."

The DMP Commissioner said, "BNP cannot be allowed to hold a public meeting in front of its Naya Paltan party office in view of public safety and public suffering. If the law is violated, legal action will be taken against BNP."

Khandkar Ghulam Farooq added, "There will be no space for 10 lakh people in front of the BNP office. A maximum of one lakh people can stand there. The remaining 9 lakh people will spread in different streets of Dhaka city. BNP will have no control over that. So, they will not be allowed to assemble at Naya Paltan to cause public suffering."

"We have come to know through the intelligence agencies and the media that BNP can create an unstable situation in Dhaka city by gathering 10 lakh people in front of its Naya Paltan central office. So, they cannot be allowed there to create public suffering and deteriorate law and order in Dhaka. BNP can go to any open field or seek any other place. They were requested to choose Ijtema ground, where they can gather 10 lakh people. There is International Trade Fair ground in Purbachal, they can go there," he said.

The DMP boss added, "This decision was taken for two reasons. The first reason is that there will be no room to accommodate so many people in Naya Paltan. If they still gather there, the remaining 9 lakh people will be scattered in different places in the city over whom BNP and police will have no control. At the same time, if these 10 lakh people occupy all the roads of Dhaka, it will be a matter of extreme suffering for the people of Dhaka."

"BNP was allowed to hold a rally at Suhrawardy Udyan. Later, I came to know through the media that they were not interested in holding a rally at Suhrawardy Udyan. They are interested to hold rallies on any road in or around Naya Paltan. In this context, the clear statement of DMP is that the rally should be held in Suhrawardy Udyan or any similar open ground. We have taken this decision to prioritise public welfare and ensure public safety," he said.

Meanwhile, DMP Commissioner said that BNP should hold a rally at Suhrawardy Udyan or any open place in Dhaka city. He reiterated the venue for the BNP rally while briefing journalists on Wednesday evening.

"If BNP tries to hold a rally elsewhere without permission, the police will take maximum action as per the law," the DMP Commissioner warned.

While talking to BNP leaders, he said that party men will choose Naya Paltan if the problem at December 10 rally is not resolved and the leaders of the party have started preparation taking the situation into account. The decision-making leaders, however, are adopting a medium stance and seeking a peaceful conclusion to their programme.