Dhaka: The main opposition BNP, whose leaders now talk of launching an oust-government movement, staged a ‘mass sit-in’ demonstration in the capital Wednesday professedly in protest against government interference in the judiciary.
As scheduled, the 4-hour squatting began on the Engineers Institution premises at about 10.00am.
Opposition leader and BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia had announced the sit-in programme as part of the anti-government movement from her Dhaka grand rally on May 19.
Khaleda Zia reached the meet at around 11. Leaders and activists of the allies--Jamaat-e-Islami, Islami Oikya Jote and Bangladesh Jatiya Party (BJP)—also joined the programme in a show of regrouping of the BNP-led alliance after serious hiccups following the end of their last tenure in power (2001-06).
Besides, many individuals and organisations expressed solidarity and joined the programme--one of a few major political demonstrations in the aftermath of the two-year apolitical regime that had ruled the country with an iron hand since the 1/11 changeover promoted by a political turmoil over election issues.
The sympathizers and adherents are Bangladesh Supreme Court Ainjibi Samiti president Khandaker Mahbub Hossain and Dhaka Ainjibi Samiti president Sanaullah Miah, JAGPA president Shafiul Alam Prodhan, a faction of Dhaka Reporters Unity journalists, general secretary of Dhaka University Teachers’ Association Dr. AKM Obaidul Islam, President of a faction of Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists (BFUJ) Ruhul Amin Gazi and eminent filmmaker Chashi Nazrul Islam.
Traffic on the road from Shahbag to the National Press Club, passing by the venue of political showdown, snapped during the sit-in.
The opposition will also hold countrywide protest rallies on June 17 and has called a dawn-to-dusk ‘hartal’ for June 27.
BDST: 0020, 09 June 2010