BNP rally: Crowd spills over to nearby streets as Golapbagh overcrowded
The Golapbagh field in Dhaka's Kamalapur, which was finally set as the venue for the BNP rally, was already overflowing with supporters the night before the event, with the crowd spilling over onto nearby streets.
Activists at the venue chanted slogans, stating they will make the rally successful and are braced for any obstacle in their way.
Talking to the Daily Star, Ataur Rahman, joint-convenor of Puragacha union BNP, who came to Dhaka five days ago from Lakshmipur district's Ramgati upazila, said they did not check into hotels fearing arrest and harassment.
"We had to spend five nights at relatives' houses to avoid arrest. I am happy that we are finally being able to hold the rally. I am here to wage the movement for restoring democracy and voting rights."
Two correspondents of The Daily Star, who were at the venue, said the BNP leaders and supporters were in a festive mood as they were finally able to turn up.
The Daily Star witnessed that the supporters set up a projector screen to watch FIF World Cup's Argentina-Netherlands football match at the venue.
Mahbub Uddin Khokon, joint secretary general of the BNP, told The Daily Star that they are requesting law enforcement agencies to not create any obstacles for their activists, who are on their way to join the rally.
"We hope police and other law enforcement agencies will help us hold the rally peacefully."
Kaysar Kamal, legal affairs secretary of BNP, told The Daily Star they were there to press home the people's right to vote, freedom of expression, and establish a society in which every citizen is treated equally.
Prof Alamgir, BNP leader of Pirojpur district, who managed to enter Dhaka with his 400 supporters, told The Daily Star they arrived in the capital seven days ago and also evaded arrests by not checking into hotels.
"We will spend the night on portable floor mats. We did not eat anything tonight [Friday night] except a few bananas and bread. We are here to sacrifice all our comfort just to bring back democracy in the country."