Over 50 leaders and activists of Phultala Upazila BNP were injured in waves of attacks by Awami League supporters, while on their way to attending the massive divisional rally that took place in Khulna city on Saturday, reports UNB.

Due to the suspension of public transport on the roads, this group of BNP leaders and activists commenced their journey on nine trawlers through the Phultala and Shikirhat ghats of the Bhairab river at 9.00am on Saturday. Amid the road transport strike or ban, BNP supporters hired scores of trawlers to aid them in their journey.

Enamul Bhuiya Parvez, convener of the upazila unit of Jubo Dal, BNP's youth front, said that the injured include BNP joint convenor and UP chairman Sheikh Abul Bashar, and joint convenor Sheikh Lutfar Rahman. The attack was carried out by members of Chhatra League and Juba League, Parvez alleged, when the trawlers reached near ghat no. 5 of Khulna, where they were supposed to be received, at around 12.30pm.

More than 50 people of were injured in the attacks. The injured are undergoing treatment at various hospitals in the locality.

One of the injured was shifted to a private hospital in Khulna as his condition worsened. Hundreds of the BNP activists were left with no option but to jump into the river when the attack started. Many of them are still missing.

As part of the party’s planned divisional programmes, Khulna city unit of the BNP arranged Saturday's rally on the Sonali Bank premises in the city. But the massive numbers that showed up in attendance was beyond anyone's expectations, and the venue could hardly contain them. The spillover crowd from the rally spread to a radius of 2 kilometres around the Sonali Bank premises.

Speaking at the rally, BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir reiterated once again that no "fair and credible election" can be held in Bangladesh without a caretaker government. “That’s why Sheikh Hasina must go. This regime has destroyed all the achievements of the country.”

He also said their party has no other alternative than to continue the movement to establish a government of the people, by ousting what he called the ‘dreadful fascist' and ‘authoritarian’ regime led by prime minister Sheikh Hasina.