Tens of thousands of BNP activists and leaders joined its divisional rally in Barishal city on Saturday, demanding the release of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia and national election under a non-party, neutral government.
The rally began around 11 am at the city’s Bangabandhu Udyan. Central party leaders were set to join the rally shortly.
The large crowd spilled onto the surrounding roads, locals said.
Police have taken position at the venue area to prevent any untoward incident.
People with banners and placards have joined the rally from different parts of the district. BNP activists started gathering at the rally venue on foot since Thursday night.
Many of them complained that they faced obstacles at various entry points of Barishal city as ruling party men tried to intercept them.
Meanwhile, nine BNP activists were injured when the motorcade of Ishraque Hossain, member of BNP’s foreign affairs committee, was attacked by miscreants on the way to the rally venue this morning.
Ishraque, also BNP’s Dhaka South City unit leader, was unhurt and reached the venue around 9 am. Several vehicles were also vandalised during the attack, BNP activists said.
Ishraque said a group of miscreants attacked their motorcade when they reached Mahilara Bazar in Gouranadi upazila in the morning.
Bus, launch, speedboat, three-wheeler movements in Barishal division have come to a halt over the last couple of days, ahead of the BNP rally.
Suspension of public vehicle movement on roads and waterways have caused immense public suffering.
The official reason behind the suspension of bus, three-wheeler, launch and speedboat movement could not be known yet.
As part of its move to continue the pace of its ongoing movement, BNP on September 27 announced a series of public rallies in 10 divisional cities.