Thousands of opposition supporters rallied in the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka, demanding Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina step down and make way for a neutral caretaker administration to oversee a general election expected early next year.
Leaders and activists of the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) gathered at the protest site in Dhaka’s Naya Paltan area amid stringent security measures, with about 8,000 security personnel deployed.
About a kilometre from the protest site, supporters of the ruling Awami League (AL) party held what they called a peace rally which ended peacefully.
Addressing the opposition rally, BNP Secretary General, Mirza Alamgir, said the opposition movement has become a sea of people, adding that people don’t want the incumbent government anymore.
Alamgir reiterated his party’s demand for a caretaker government to oversee the elections, adding that there was no scope of having any fair election under this government.
The senior BNP leader, who has been leading the party after its founding leader and former Prime Minister, Khaleda Zia, was jailed in a corruption case, accused the ruling party of authoritarianism, failing to tackle inflation and subverting democratic institutions.