Are members of the BNP more unruly outside the capital? Or is the police force more heavy-handed when it comes without the scrutiny Dhaka has to offer?
In a spate of incidents in the last few weeks, the behaviour of police and BNP has been observed to be curiously different inside and outside the capital.
The death of a BNP activist in Narayanganj amid police action has also become a rallying point for the party, which has vowed victory despite any odds.
While rallies and processions by the BNP in the capital have been largely peaceful, despite boasting a much higher number of workers and leaders, elsewhere they have been marred by violence and even death.
The BNP leaders believe the police are acting on instructions from the top.
At a rally protesting the death of a BNP activist last week, BNP Standing Committee member Mirza Abbas said, "The police do not shoot like this without instructions. Someone gave the order."
An additional deputy commissioner, on the condition of anonymity, said, "We are ordered to be patient in the capital, as any untoward scenario in Dhaka can ignite the situation across the country."
Judging by the numbers, this patience is not extended beyond the limits of the capital.
So far, there have been reports of clashes between the BNP and police in at least 30 districts in the last two weeks alone.
Party workers of the BNP have also been accused in cases of vandalism, attacking police and other charges in at least 20 districts.
In one instance, one 1 September, hundreds of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) workers and leaders brought out a procession in Narayanganj.
During the demonstrations, a clash between party workers and police ensued, leading to the death of Shaon Mahmud, 20, a Jubo Dal worker.
Hundreds of others, including general people, were also injured in the incident.
In contrast, on the same day a rally commemorating the founding anniversary of BNP was held in the capital from Gulsitan Bangabandhu Stadium area to Shahbagh, blockading roads for more than two hours and leading to gridlocks throughout the city.
Thousands of BNP men joined the rally and marched towards the Press Club area unscathed.
Although there was a presence of law enforcers, no clashes took place.
An assistant commissioner of Motijheel division of Dhaka Metropolitan Police said, "Most of the BNP workers and leaders in Dhaka aren't locals. They come from different areas and aren't as violent and ferocious as district level BNP men. They [district workers] are rowdy and always try to attack policemen."
He told The Business Standard that as the BNP men in Dhaka were peaceful, strict action was not needed.
The situation in other areas of the country is not the same.
BNP processions have been attacked in Faridpur, Manikganj, Kishoreganj, Bhola and several other districts too.
Oftentime, it is alleged that the Awami League men or members of its student wing join law enforcers in the attacks.
Firing of tear gas, rubber bullets and even live ammunition has been reported numerous times.
BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir has alleged that though his party's founding anniversary programme in Narayanganj was peaceful, it was attacked.
"Police are not complying with international police law. Every time we protest, they fire indiscriminately," he said.
Contacted, Narayaganj Superintendent of Police Golam Mostafa Russel told TBS that BNP activists had blocked the road and were trying to "damage life and property".
"I repeatedly requested them not to hold a rally by blocking roads and damaging property. They threw brick chips at police and even exploded cocktails. That day at least 15-20 policemen were also injured and are undergoing treatment in hospital," he said.
This correspondent spoke to over twenty police officials who were involved in some of the incidents.
Although none agreed to be quoted, they leveled the blame on the BNP.
A police official from Narayanganj district told TBS, "It isn't clear yet whose fire led to Shaon's death. We have seen BNP protesters with machetes, sharp weapons and even local guns…it is not the police's intention to fire indiscriminately."
A Dhaka Metropolitan Police official said the Dhaka protests had been peaceful so police did not have to resort to stricter measures.
"When it is a matter of public safety and lives, it is our duty to disperse rowdy gatherings or procession."
On any difference between crowd control in Dhaka and elsewhere, he said, "We have more than ten times the troops in Dhaka in different shifts to maintain crowd, processions and any kind of political gathering. Lesser manpower in districts is also a problem," he said.
Another official said less logistical and manpower support outside the capital could lead to situations worsening in the blink of an eye.
AKM Shahidul Haque, a former inspector general of police, told TBS that there are several steps to control any riot.
"First, the police will use water cannons. If that fails, they will lob tear shell canisters. Rubber bullets will be fired if tear shells cannot disperse the crowd. Then, there will be repeated requests through mikes for the mob to move away. The last step will be gunfire with warnings if the situation really slips out of hand," he said.
"If these steps have not been maintained in the recent police firing, a departmental probe should be commissioned. If the observations are true, it is really disappointing and unacceptable," added the ex-police chief.
In a press conference on Sunday, Mirza Fakhrul highlighted the deaths, injuries, arrests and vandalism during BNP programmes from 22 August to 1 September across the country.
So far, three BNP leaders and activists have been killed across the country, with more than 2,000 injured. More than 200 leaders and activists have been arrested. Cases have been filed against more than 4,000 BNP leaders and workers across the country. About 20,000 unidentified have also been made accused, he said.
Fakhrul also claimed that the incidents of attack, police firing, torture and killing of BNP men will be reported to the United Nations.
In the press conference, Mirza Fakhrul highlighted the statistics of deaths, injuries, arrests and vandalism in BNP programs from August 22 to September 1 across the country.
So far, three BNP leaders and activists have been killed across the country. More than two thousand leaders and activists were injured. More than 200 leaders and activists have been arrested. Cases have been filed against the names of more than 4,000 BNP leaders and workers across the country. About 20,000 unidentified accused have been made.
Mirza Fakhrul also claimed that the incidents of attack, police firing, torture and killing of BNP men will be reported to the United Nations.
BNP leaders on Thursday also held a meeting with Canadian Political Counselor Bradley Courts, where the issues were brought up.