Tension is running high in Dhaka and across the country over possible violence as the opposition BNP and their political allies plan to hold anti-government rallies on Friday.

The tension was further mounted as the opposition leader Khaleda Zia claimed on Thursday that the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s government would turn “illegal” from Friday, the day from which the 90-day countdown for general election starts.

Reminding the Prime Minister with, “your [government’s] time is over”, the former Prime Minister, who has rejected Sheikh Hasina’s “all-party” poll-time government formula, remarked the opposition would now raise a movement to “overthrow the illegal government”. She urged the Prime Minister to take necessary steps regarding her proposal on an election-time interim government.

Troops deployed

Amid fear of violence, the authorities have deployed paramilitary Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) in Dhaka and its adjoining Narayanganj city, though they have allowed the opposition to hold rally in Dhaka in a last-minute conditional decision.

Police slapped an indefinite ban on all rallies, meetings and processions in the capital from Oct 20, until further orders, in the wake of confronting political programmes by both the BNP and the Awami League. Senior opposition leaders urged the party activists to join the rally with sharp weapons.