Hundreds of thousands of opponents protest in Bangladesh against the government and the arrest of their party leaders

Hundreds of thousands of supporters of the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) demonstrate this Saturday in Dhaka in a massive way to protest against the increase in the prices of raw materials and demand the release of its main leaders, as well as the resignation of the Government.

Arriving from different parts of the city and other parts of the country, the protesters gathered in a space in eastern Dhaka agreed on Friday with the Bangladeshi authorities, after they rejected both other proposed locations.

“Until now More than a million of people have gathered in the meeting place, its adjacent streets and neighboring areas. People continue to approach the site despite the barricades,” the BNP said in a statement released around midday.

The Police, who have not yet provided approximate data on attendance at the great march, are on high alert after the protests will turn violent in the last dayswith the death of one of the BNP supporters and dozens injured last Wednesday, after riot police forcibly broke up a demonstration in Dhaka in front of a party office.

The spokesman for the Dacca Metropolitan Police, Faruk Hossain, explained to Efe this Saturday that “there are enough members of the security forces deployed in the city” to avoid any type of incident and, for now, “everything remains peaceful”. .

a human tide

BNP supporters arrived at the demonstration site on foot or with common rickshaw three-wheelers in kilometer-long processions through the streets of Dhaka, after public transport was canceled as a result of the demonstration.

Some, like Shoriful Islam, explained to Efe that they used the rickshaw as a “precaution” to “avoid in the streets the supporters of the ruling party and the police” who were checking the protesters, and thus be able to reach the place of the protest.

Jamal Uddin, leader of the BNP Juba Dal youth front in the Shariatpur district, told Efe that 5,000 leading party members they arrived from their areas to the place of the demonstration after having to overcome many obstacles and intimidation.

“The police have been raiding the houses of many of our leaders and activists since December 4. Even today they intercepted our people on the road. We arrived in Dhaka a few days ago and stayed with relatives,” he said.

With many of the main BNP leaders jailedthis Saturday it was the turn of the youngest, who began the acts of the day giving speeches before the thousands of participants in the demonstration.

In addition, the seven BNP deputies in Parliament also announced on the spot that they were leaving their seats in protest. the ruler Awami League holds an overwhelming parliamentary majority after being accused of rigging the 2018 general election.


Friday only police arrested BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhruland member of the party’s standing committee, Mirza Abbas, and soon after a court in Dhaka ordered the imprisonment of both politicians, after rejecting their demands for bail.

Fakhrul is the most senior opposition leader in the absence of the party’s chairwoman, former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, and her exiled son Tarique Rahman. Zia, sentenced to 10 years on a corruption charge, is prohibited from participating in political activities or leaving the country after her conditional release in March.

The BNP has criticized the government for resorting to arrests and intimidation to thwart his great march, and denounced that the Police detained at least 1,400 of its leaders and militants between November 30 and December 6. Another 300 were arrested after Wednesday’s confrontation.

Since the start of the BNP demonstrations last August, eleven of its leaders and supporters have been killed by actions by the police and supporters of the Awami League, in what seems to be a preview of what will be next year before the elections. general forecasts between December 2023 and January 2024

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