BNP men gather at Naya Paltan demanding chairperson's release

BNP men join a rally with procession in the capital's Naya Paltan area on 29 June 2024.Sazid Hossain

Leaders and activists of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) are flocking to their party headquarters in the capital’s Naya Paltan area to join a rally demanding the release of party chief Begum Khaleda Zia.

Several thousand BNP supporters were seen on the party office premises, while more were arriving in processions. The rally was scheduled to begin at 2:30 pm.

The BNP has chalked out a three-day programme to press for Khaleda Zia's release. The rally at Naya Paltan marks the first day, and it will be followed by rallies in cities on 1 July and districts on 3 July.

At Naya Paltan, a stage has been set up in front of the party office. BNP central leaders, including vice chairman Barkatullah, Nitai Roy Chowdhury, and chairperson’s advisor Zainul Abedin Faruk, were seen on the stage.

During a spot visit on Saturday afternoon, it was seen that BNP men from different units in Dhaka and its suburbs were gathering in the Purana Paltan, Bijoynagar, Fakirapool, and Arambagh areas before joining the rally in processions.

Sultan Salahuddin, the central publicity secretary of the party, was urging the participants to maintain peace and discipline.

“Khaleda Zia is an emotion for us and a symbol of independence, sovereignty, and democracy in Bangladesh. Hence, it is the duty of all BNP leaders and activists to make the rally successful,” he told the crowd.

The rally comes nearly eight months after the last event held to demand Khaleda Zia's release.