Bangladesh 'rainbow rally' cancelled over permit issues

Dhaka, Apr 13: A Bangladeshi rights group has cancelled a planned "rainbow rally" to mark the Bengali New Year, which had been threatened by Islamists who said the secular festival was un-Islamic, organisers said today.

The street parade, planned for tomorrow, was scrapped over permit issues, according to organisers from the Roopbaan group which promotes freedom of love and gender equality in the Muslim-majority nation.


"We've decided to scrap the Rainbow Rally this year as we did not have official permission from the authorities," an organiser told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity. There was no immediate comment from officials.

The group had earlier vowed to press ahead with the colourful New Year event despite online posts by Islamists against the rally, with calls to beat up parade participants posted on Facebook.

The threats come after hardline clerics branded the Bengali new year celebrations, in which people carry masks of animals and colourful garlands, as "un-Islamic and Haram (forbidden)". 


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