The BNP-led 20-party alliance on Saturday staged a black flag rally in the city protesting Israeli genocide in Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.
Thousands of leaders and activists of the alliance started the procession braving drizzling with black flags and black badges from in front of the BNP’ Nayapaltan central office around 3:40pm amid tight security and completed it peacefully at Malibagh crossing at about 5pm.
Though huge law enforcers took positions in front of BNP’s Nayapaltan office and different points with armored vehicles, water cannons and prison vans, there was no report of any untoward incident.
It was the first street program of the 20-party after the January-5 election boycotted by the BNP-led opposition alliance.
Although Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) had earlier denied BNP and the alliance permission to stage any street program after the election, it gave the alliance permission on Friday night for holding the program with some conditions.
The 20-party coalition’s top leaders, including BNP acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, standing committee members Tariqul Islam, MK Anwar, Rafiqul Islam Miah, Abdul Moyeen Khan, Nazrul Islam Khan, Dhaka city unit convener Mirza Abbas, member secretary Habibun Nabi Sohel and BNP vice chairman Abdullah Al Noman joined the program.
The 20-party also observed the program in all cities and district towns amid some stray incidents of clashes with police.
In a brief address before taking out the procession, Fakhrul said they arranged the program to let the world community know the people of Bangladesh are with the repressed Palestinians.
“We strongly condemn and protest the continued Israeli barbaric attacks on the innocent people of Palestine. We also urge Israel to stop the attack forthwith and free the grabbed land of Palestine,” he said hoping that the people of Palestine will win their battle for an independent state.
The BNP leader also urged the world community to be vocal to stop the carnage at the Gaza Strip and withdraw the Israeli force from the land of Palestine.
Mirza Abbas asked the 20-party leaders and activists not to chant any anti-government slogans as the procession was meant for registering protest against Israeli offensive in Gaza, not against the current Awami League-led regime.
Leaders and activists of the alliance, mainly BNP, Jamaat, thronged in front of the BNP office in small processions from different wards and thanas.
On Tuesday, BNP acting secretary Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir announced a 13-day action program of the alliance, including the black-flag procession, at a press conference at the party’s Nayapaltan office.
BNP Dhaka city had extensive preparations to make the program a success as it was the first program of BNP and its alliance after the formation of a new convening committee of the unit, led by Mirza Abbas.
The city BNP unit staged the showdown apparently to rejuvenate its leaders and activists for future action programs, including a rally at Suhrawardy Udyan scheduled to be held on Tuesday protesting the National Broadcast Policy, 2014.