BNP’s divisional rally in Sylhet held on Saturday afternoon, with presence of thousands of leaders and activists of the party and its associate bodies.
The rally, organised by Sylhet city unit of BNP, formally began at 11:10am on the Sylhet Government Alia Madrasa ground at Chowhatta.
Despite transport strike and other obstacles, thousands of opposition leaders and activists thronged the venue since Friday night, as they gathered there in advance from adjacent districts – fearing obstacles and hassles caused by the bus strike.
Police and other security officials were deployed around the rally venue and at different points of the town to prevent any untoward incident.
According to Sylhet Metropolitan Police, 19 check-posts were set up at the entry points of Sylhet city and hundreds of plainclothes policemen will perform their duties on Saturday to maintain the law and order situation.
Leaders and activists of BNP and its associate bodies from four districts — Sunamganj, Moulvibazar, Habiganj and Sylhet — under the division joined the rally.
BNP activists were seen coming to the rally venue in small processions shouting anti-government slogans since early morning.
The organisers said the rally was meant to denounce the price hike of daily essentials and fuels, the death of five party men in previous police action in Bhola, Narayanganj, Munshiganj and Jashore, and to ensure the freedom of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia.
BNP has long been demanding that the next general election be held under a caretaker government, not under any political government – a demand sharply rejected by the ruling Awami League.
BNP senior leaders, including Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir and some standing committee members, addressed the rally.
The rally in Sylhet was the 7th by BNP at the divisional level following Chattogram, Mymensingh, Khulna, Rangpur, Barishal and Faridpur.
BNP will conclude the divisional rallies through a mass gathering in Dhaka city on December 10.