US and UK alert their nationals about 28 October

The United States and the United Kingdom have alerted the nationals of their respective countries concerning the rallies and counter rallies on 28 October to be staged by the political parties in Bangladesh.

These cautionary notes on the 28 October rallies appeared on Thursday on the website of the US embassy in Dhaka and on the UK foreign office website.

The US embassy notice said that. “On October 28, political rallies and sit-ins are planned for Dhaka and other cities across Bangladesh, with the largest ones planned near Baitul Mukarram National Mosque and on VIP Road near the Central Police Hospital.  US citizens should practice vigilance and remember that demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence.  You should avoid demonstrations and exercise caution in the vicinity of any large gatherings.”

The UK foreign office website, referring to the political rallies scheduled for 28 October in Bangladesh, also offered its nationals travel advice, asking them to avoid large gatherings, including demonstration and rallies.

BNP is scheduled to hold its grand rally on 28 October at Naya Paltan in the capital, with a one-point demand for the government to resign. Ruling Awami League has announced a counter rally on the same day at the south gate of Baitul Mukarram mosque. Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) is yet to provide permission to either of the parties to hold their rallies at those particular venues. The two parties have been asked to name alternative venues for their rallies.

In the meantime, BNP’s leaders and activists have begun to arrive in the capital from various districts to join the grand rally. Law enforcement agencies have set up check posts at Dhaka entry points and have begun searching buses, microbuses, cars and all vehicles entering headed to the capital city. The police on Thursday night raided various areas and arrested a significant number of BNP men.