BNP will continue movement till next election

BNP will continue its ongoing movement protesting price hike of fuel and essential commodities and the killing of its leaders and activists. The party on Wednesday announced fresh mass rallies in the divisional towns while the BNP’s rallies in 16 places in Dhaka city continue.

The three-month mass rallies will end through a programme in Dhaka city on 22 December.

The party will also chalk out simultaneous movements along with opposition parties declaring a framework on ‘the constitutional and administrative reforms of the state’. Sources from BNP said the party would start holding second-phase dialogues with political parties in October to this end. They will fix the strategy of the simultaneous movement later and announce fresh programmes demanding the next election to be held under a neutral government. The party aims to continue the movement till the next general election.

Iqbal Hasan Mahmud, standing committee member of BNP, told Prothom Alo that fresh programmes would be announced following the divisional rallies.

“We have said many times that our movement will continue till the fall of this government,” he added.

BNP announced programmes in districts in last July protesting mismanagement in the energy sector following severe load shedding in the country. Although they could hold the programmes without any hindrance in many districts, BNP rallies came under attack and obstruction by police and ruling party men. Police obstructed a BNP rally in Bhola on 31 July and opened fire. District Chhatra Dal president Nure Alam and Swecchasebak Dal activist Abdur Rahim were killed in police firing. BNP then started continuous movement protesting the deaths on 1 August. The government on 6 August increased the prices of diesel, petrol and fuel oil by a large margin which led to increase in prices of essential commodities. BNP launched a fresh movement protesting the price hikes and later announced 16 protest programmes in Dhaka. They held 13 programmes as of Tuesday. Four of these rallies came under attack.

BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir at a press briefing on Wednesday declared they would hold fresh programmes in 10 organisational divisions.

The mass rally would start in Chattogram on 8 October and end in Dhaka on 10 December. Rallies in Mymensingh, Khulna and Rangpur would be held on 15, 22 and 29 October. Mass rallies would be held in Barishal on 5 November, Faridpur on 12 November, Sylhet on 19 November, Cumilla on 26 November and Rajshahi on 3 December. The party will organise mourning processions remembering the BNP leaders killed in Bhola, Narayanganj and Mushiganj in all metropolitan cities on 6 October and in districts on 10 October.

The programmes were chalked out at the meeting of BNP’s standing committee on 26 September.

BNP leaders feel the programmes in Dhaka city and other parts of the country were beyond their expectations despite obstruction and attack from police. They think the people also joined these movements alongside the party activists. The success of recent programmes have boosted the morale of the party men and the movements in the future would get further impetus. But the leadership of the party is worried over the police firing and attack of ruling party men in the programmes.

BNP in yesterday’s programme said a total of five BNP men were killed and 2768 injured as police and Awami League attack since 1 August. Among the five killed, four died of police firing and one in AL men’s attack, alleged the party. A total of 294 persons were arrested and 75 cases were filed against around 25,000 BNP men.

Sources from the BNP said they think the attacks and arrests as well cases would increase in the coming days. But they would not leave the field.

“We want to garner public opinion and connect more people through these programmes. We want to create pressure on the government by intensifying the active participation of the people. The people’s only demand is that this government must go.”

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