BNP leaders and activists on Thursday took a fresh vow to free its chairperson Khaleda Zia from jail and restore democracy in the country.
"Today (Thursday) is the 38th death anniversary of BNP founder and late president Ziaur Rahman who introduced multiparty democracy. The nation always remembers this day with due respect," said BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.
Talking to reporters after paying homage to Zia by placing wreaths at his grave, he also said the current government destroyed democracy and sent 'mother' of democracy Khaleda Zia to jail in 'false' cases. "On this day, we're taking a fresh pledge to free Khaleda Zia and restore democracy holding the ideals of Ziaur Rahman."
Fakhrul said though Zia's political life was short, he had played an outstanding role in developing the country. "He restored democracy, freedom of expression and strengthened economy. But it's unfortunate that now misrule has been imposed on people by snatching their voting rights."
BNP standing committee member Moudud Ahmed said their party will continue its struggle for the restoration of democracy. "BNP will remain with people and carry out a movement until the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary and democracy are restored in Bangladesh."
He also said it will not be possible to remove Ziaur Rahman from Bangladesh's history. "As long as Bangladesh remains, the country's people will remember him for many reasons, including for the restoration of democracy."
Several hundred BNP leaders and activists, led by Fakhrul, and party standing committee members, placed wreaths at Zia's grave at Sher-e-Bangla Nagar at 11:15am, marking the party founders' death anniversary.
They also offered a munajat there seeking eternal peace of Zia's departed soul.
Zia founded BNP in 1978. He was assassinated by some army officers at Chittagong Circuit House on 30 May 1981.
Apart from Fakhrul and Moudud, BNP standing committee members Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, Abdul Moyeen Khan, vice chairmen Shahjahan Omar, AZM Zahid Hossain, Shamsuzzaman Dudu, Ahmed Azam Khan, chairperson's adviser Amanullah Aman, Habibur Rahman Habib, Sirajuddin Ahmed, joint secretaries general Mahbubuddin Khokon, and Khairul Kabir Khokon were, among others, present.
After paying homage to Zia's grave, Mirza Fakhrul distributed iftar items among the destitute in Tejgaon's Arjat Para arranged by the local unit of BNP, marking the day.