BNP’s last divisional rally in Dhaka begins at the city’s Golapbagh field near Sayedabad on Saturday with participation of thousands of leaders and activists of the party. — Sourav Laskar
BNP’s last divisional rally in Dhaka began at the city’s Golapbagh field near Sayedabad on Saturday with participation of thousands of leaders and activists of the party.
The rally, arranged by Dhaka south and north city units of BNP, began at about 11:00am.
Thousands of leaders and activists of the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party gathered at Golapbagh field to attend the party’s Dhaka divisional mass rally.
As the party activists began to enter into the field since Friday afternoon, immediately after the party was given permission for holding its last divisional rally there only a day before the scheduled rally, the venue in Gopibagh area in the capital became filled with the party activists by Friday night. They passed the night on the venue.
Since early Saturday, the party activists, mostly from different city areas, began to arrive at the venue with processions and chanting slogans against the government and urging their demands.
Witnesses said that the roads stretching about one kilometre area adjacent to the venue became filled with BNP activists by 10:00am.
They said that most of the shops, except restaurants and tea stalls, around the venue were found closed.
The opposition activists have been carrying posters, banners and portraits of their party founder Ziaur Rahman, chairperson Khaleda Zia and acting chairman Tarique Rahman.
A number of leaders and activists said that they had to face checking by the law enforcement agencies on their way to the venue.
Sarfaraj Ali, an activist of BNP who came to the venue from Manikganj, said that he and four of his fellows reached Dhaka by a goods laden pick-up van on Friday night.
‘We had to face checking and unwanted interrogations by the police at a number of spots on the way to Dhaka,’ he said.
This is the 10th and the last divisional rally of BNP that the party announced in September. The police began special drive across the country ahead of the rally and arrested over 6,200 people, mostly the opposition leaders and activists, since December 1.
The police arrested about 500 leaders and activists of the BNP, including its secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam ALamgir and senior leaders – Mirza Abbas, Abdus Salam, Shahid Uddin Chowdhury Annie — in past three days. Of them, Fakhrul and Mirza Abbas were arrested on Friday, a day before the scheduled rally.
As the party secretary general is now detained in jail, the Saturday’s Dhaka divisional rally will be addressed by the party standing committee member Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain and will be presided over by Dhaka north city unit convener Aman Ullah Aman, party leaders said.
BNP Dhaka north city unit member secretary Aminul Haque alleged that the party activists were being subjected to harassment on their way to rally venue.
BNP had been insisting to hold the rally in front of its central office at Naya Paltan but the government first gave the party permission to arrange the programme at Suhrawardy Udyan on the ground that a rally occupying road will create public sufferings.