REF: BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia on Friday urged countrymen to join her planned Sunday rally at capital Dhaka’s Naya Paltan, braving “all barriers and hurdles” and even if she herself failed to join.
“I am with you and will be with you always. You carry the movement even if I cannot be there (on Sunday),” she said in a video message, hours after police denied permission for the rally.
She called her supporters to continue the movement until the fall of the government.
The Leader of the Opposition had announced the ‘March for Democracy’ at a news conference after ending lengthy blockades on Tuesday to protest Jan 5 polls that her party boycotted.
Police denied permission in view of “public security”.
In a minute-and-a-half video call, she urged the people to gather in front of the Nayapaltan office sporting the national flags to, as she said, “establish democracy in the month of victory”.
“I hope you will join the Dhaka rally to protect democracy braving all obstacles,” she said.
She called on people to say “no” to the “farcical election” and “yes” to the elections under a neutral government that she has demanded election oversight.
“We had brought democracy to this country; we will bring it again. In-Sha-Allah, that day is not far away, our victory is guaranteed,” she vowed.
Earlier, hours after her press briefing on Tuesday, a policeman was burnt alive in a bomb attack on a bus at Dhaka’s Bangla Motor.
Since then police presence had been reinforced in front of her residence and office in Gulshan.
Police also picked up her several leaders and supporters ahead of the rally.
However, there have been reports that BNP supporters from different parts of the country started coming to Dhaka soon after her Tuesday’s announcement.
BNP leaders on Friday morning alleged that the government would suspend all modes of transport to prevent party activists from joining the rally.
They also alleged that the countrywide drive before elections that police said was to arrest ‘criminals’ was aimed at arresting their leaders and supporters.