Quit now or there will be no escape
At its "silent march" yesterday, the BNP once again asked the government to step down without wasting time.
Issuing a note of warning, BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said if the ruling Awami League does not resign from office, its leaders will not be able to manage an escape route.
He made the remarks before inaugurating the march to press home their 10-point demand, including a general election under a non-party caretaker government.
As part of the BNP's four-day programme, its leaders and activists yesterday marched from the capital's Badda to Malibagh, around a four-kilometre journey.
The party took an hour and half to complete the march, which started around 2:30pm in front of Badda's Suvastu Nazar Valley market.
"We have initiated a new type of movement. We will compel the government to step down by waging a movement against its tyranny," Fakhrul said.
In a message to the government, he said, "Don't waste time. Hand over power to a caretaker government to pave the way for people to exercise their voting rights."
Thousands of leaders and activists of the BNP and its associate bodies took part in the programme, carrying banners, national and party flags, festoons and portraits of the party's top leaders.
Fakhrul asked the party people to march peacefully without responding to any provocation.
"We have so far held our all programmes peacefully and we will ensure their fall through peaceful agitations."
Terming their march a silent protest against the government, he said they will force the government to quit with the people on their side.
Protesting price hikes of daily essentials, the BNP leader said, "Prices of rice, egg, lentils, salt and other essentials have been skyrocketing. Labourers and rickshaw-pullers are not being able to lead normal lives. The situation is so grave that if anyone protests [against price hikes], they get arrested."
Slamming the government for arresting opposition activists, he said it has turned the whole country into a prison.
The leaders and workers of the BNP and its different associate bodies were seen thronging different areas of Badda since noon to join the programme.
Dhaka North BNP Convener Amanullah Aman and Member-Secretary Aminul Haque repeatedly asked the party workers to ensure traffic is not hampered.
However, the procession caused serious traffic jams on their route, causing public sufferings.
Many commuters were seen walking to their destinations due to long tailbacks.
Meanwhile, a huge number of law enforcers were deployed from Badda to Malibagh to maintain law and order and avoid any untoward incidents.
Earlier on Thursday, the BNP announced the four-day march in the capital on January 28, 30, 31 and February 1.
Dhaka North BNP will hold a march from Gabtoli to Mirpur-10 intersection on January 31, while the Dhaka South unit will march from Jatrabari to Shyampur on January 30 and from Mugda to Malibagh on February 1.