According to the constitution, every party and organisation has the right to hold peaceful meetings and programmes. But we have a political culture where those in power deprive the political opponents of their democratic rights using so-called law and order as an excuse.
The Awami League leaders have been complaining for so long that BNP does not talk about people’s problems, they are only agitating for the release of the party chief. But when the BNP and its allies took up programmes to protest price hike of daily essentials, they had to encounter attacks, lawsuits and arrests.
The law enforcement is not entitled to disrupt opposition meetings. They are responsible to ensure that no unpleasant incident occurs during the event. We also noticed that nothing untoward happened in the places where the BNP leaders and workers were allowed to carry out their programmes peacefully.
The leaders and workers returned home after the event. But chaos took place in the areas where the police obstructed them and the leaders and activists of the ruling party carried out attacks. The ruling party and its allies are not seen taking action on the issues of public life. It seems to be their "moral duty" to prevent any programme taken up by opposition party.
The BNP's programme was announced at a press conference earlier. Yet announcing political programmes on the same day by Chhatra League or Juba League is tantamount to initiating a clash. The role of law enforcement here is not only questionable, but shamefully biased. They have attacked the victims without taking any action against the attackers.
The ruling party claimed that they had programmes in various places. Everyone has equal right to carry out political programmes. That is why it is nothing but provocation for the ruling party to announce or try to hold a programmes in the same place, at the same time, as soon as the opposition party announces to hold a programme. Through this the ruling party leaders further clarified their anti-people position. No political party or its affiliated organisations can do such thing if it has minimum responsibility and respect for the people and democracy. The government has to ensure that the peaceful activities of any political party will not be hindered in future.