Section 144 imposed in parts of Cox’s Bazar, Rangamati to avert possible AL-BNP clash

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Desk report, Aug 28: Local administrations of Cox’s Bazar’s Pekua and Rangamati’s Kaptai upazilas have imposed Section 144 of the CrPC, that restricts freedom of assembly – effectively a curfew – in their respective areas on Sunday to avert any untoward situation after yet another instance of local units of the two main political parties calling for clashing or back-to-back programmes that greatly increase the security risk in any setting.

Local law enforcement resources around the country have been frequently stretched in this manner in the last few months, but also throughout the year.

The curfew imposed by Pekua upazila administration has been in force from 6am, and is supposed to go till 9pm. All types of public gatherings within the upazila’s Sikder Para Stadium and Kabir Chowdhury Bazar areas were banned during the curfew.

The curfew was imposed through a notification signed by Pekua Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) Purbita Chakma.

BNP’s Pekua upazila unit had called for a rally protesting the recent fuel price hike on Sunday, while the local AL unit had called for a mourning programme simultaneously.

On Saturday night, AL and BNP activists took positions in the upazila’s Chowmuhani and Stadium areas, which compelled the local administration to impose Section 144 fearing the eruption of a clash.

On the other hand, Kaptai upazila administration issued a notification signed by Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) Muntasir Jahan on Saturday night, banning all types of meetings and demonstrations in Kaptai Sadar area from 6:00am to 6:00pm on Sunday.

According to Muntasir, the Kaptai unit of BNP was taking preparations for a rally to be held on Sunday protesting the price hike of fuel and daily essentials, while the local AL had also called for a protest rally on the same day demanding the hanging of BNP leader Tarique Rahman.

“As there was a possibility for the deterioration of the law and order situation, we had to impose Section 144 to maintain peace and stability in the area,” said the UNO.