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BNP ‘barred from paying Zia homage’

A huge number of police have been deployed at the main entrance to the BNP founder’s grave since Monday morning.
The BNP had earlier announced programmes for Monday to celebrate the anniversary of its founder.
Barricades were put up at both ends of the street, adjacent to the Parliament complex, leading to the grave of the slain military ruler and traffic had been suspended on the street since morning.
Water cannon, prison vans and armoured personnel carriers (APC) were seen parked near by.
Activists of the BNP and its affiliates thronged the grave at the city’s Chandrima Udyan since morning but the police reportedly refused to let them in. Law enforcers later allowed some leaders to get in.
Police, however, say that the security measures in the area, just behind Parliament complex, were there as the House will be in session from the afternoon.”Any kind of rally or gathering has been prohibited in the area as Parliament will go in session in the afternoon. No one will be allowed to take out a march, but any individual can go to the grave of Ziaur Rahman to pay respect,” Deputy Commissioner of police (Tejgaon) Biplob Kumar Saha told reporters
Hundreds of BNP supporters gathered at the ends of the road that lead to the grave on Monday.
Earlier around 10am, 20 to 30 activists, mostly from the BNP’s women front, entered the premises through the back entrance, bdnews24.com’s Sumon Mahmud reported from the scene.
Around 11:45am, a group of BNP’s executive committee members including Mostafizur Rahman Babul, Khandakar Abdul Hamid Dablu, Dhaka unit chief of BNP’s women affiliate Sultana Ahmed paid respects and placed a wreath at the grave.
Later, members of several BNP front organisations came and paid their respects. Police, however, did not allow them to gather in the area.
BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia did not come to her husband’s grave to offer prayers or pay respect. Police lifted the siege at her Gulshan office in the wee hours of Monday. She had been under siege there since Jan 5.
The government, however, from the beginning refused to admit it as a siege.
It said the barricades and vehicles on the streets leading to her Gulshan office and heavy police deployment were ‘security measures’ for the three-time prime minister.

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