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Paramilitary soldiers deployed in Bangladesh as opposition to hold rally

IANS  |  Dhaka 

Paramilitary soldiers have been deployed in Bangladesh's capital Dhaka to thwart any untoward incident over the opposition's plans to hold rallies defying police bans.

Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) troops were seen to guard strategic points of the capital city since 6.00 p.m. Sunday, Xinhua reported.

BGB deployment has been done initially in a limited scale but the force have been asked to remain ready to carry out any further order, said sources.

Earlier Sunday, Bangladesh Police have imposed an indefinite ban on meetings, processions and rallies in Dhaka from Sunday evening, a step the opposition described as an attempt to mute dissenting voices.

"All indoor and outdoor meetings, rallies and human chains will be banned for an indefinite period in the capital city from Sunday evening to avoid any untoward situation," Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) spokesperson Monirul Islam said in a press briefing.

Ex-Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, who remained cordoned off inside her office in Dhaka's Gushan diplomatic enclave since Saturday night, has asked her 20-party alliance leaders and activists to defy the police ban on political gatherings and to make their Jan 5 rally a success.

Tense political standoff over the opposition alliance's demand for a fresh polls under a non-party caretaker government system culminated with both the ruling and opposition parties calling rallies on Jan 5 in Dhaka to stage showdown.

Khaleda's opposition alliance now wants to observe Jan 5 as " Democracy Killing Day" and hold a grand rally in the capital, while Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's ruling Bangladesh Awami League party is all set to celebrate it as "Victory Day for Democracy," raising among the general masses the specter of a return of wide spread violence in capital Dhaka and elsewhere in the country.

Khaleda Zia Wednesday night at a press briefing tabled a seven-point proposal to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasian's government for an immediate "inclusive general elections" under a non-party caretaker government.

BNP, which has no representation in the current parliament as it boycotted the Jan 5 parliament elections in 2014, reiterated its vow to unseat Hasina's government with movement.

Khaleda Zia's 20-party alliance has been waging mass protests demanding for fresh national elections in the country under a non- party caretaker government.

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First Published: Mon, January 05 2015. 02:36 IST