angladesh police have banned all protests in the capital Dhaka from Sunday and locked main opposition leader Khaleda Zia in her office, ahead of the first anniversary of an election her party boycotted. Zia had threatened to hold mass rallies in the capital to mark “Democracy Killing Day” on Monday marking a year since the polls that her Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and its Islamist allies refused to join, alleging the ruling party would rig the vote.
“She has been confined in her office. Police have cordoned off the area and barricaded [the] road. She wanted to see a sick party colleague around midnight, but they did not let her out,” Zia’s aide SR Shimul Biswas told the AFP news agency. Al Jazeera’s Tanvir Chowdhury, reporting from Dhaka, said Zia has been confined to her Gulshan office since Saturday night with police, including women officers, deployed outside her office.
Police banned all protests, meetings and demonstrations in the capital from 5pm (11:00 GMT) Sunday until further notice to prevent violence after the ruling party announced rival rallies. “We imposed the ban as rival rallies by the political parties raised fears of clashes,” Dhaka police spokesman Masudur Rahman told AFP. Buses and ferries heading to the capital were halted, virtually cutting the city from the rest of the country, operators said, amid fears tens of thousands of opposition activists would march to Dhaka.