The main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party held its street protests on Friday after the January 7 general election, holding black-flag processions and rallies at the district level.

The programmes were held peacefully in most places, but BNP alleged that police and ruling party activists created obstructions to the processions in Faridpur, Jhalakathi, and Jashore, among other places.

BNP and its allies in the simultaneous movement are scheduled to hold black flag processions in all metropolitan cities, including Dhaka, today, protesting at soaring commodity prices and demanding the release of all political prisoners, the withdrawal of all ‘false’ cases, and the dissolution of the ‘illegal’ parliament.

The BNP will hold a black flag procession at 2:00pm that will start in front of the party’s Naya Paltan central office in Dhaka and end at Moghbazar crossing after parading Kakarail and Malibag crossings.

Among the BNP allies in the ongoing movement, the 12-Party Alliance will hold a black flag procession in the Bijoynagar area at 12:30pm, Jatiyatabadi Somomona Jote at 11:00am in front of the National Press Club, Gono Forum and People’s Party at 3:30pm near Notre Dame College in Motijheel, Liberal Democratic Party at 11:00am in front of Bijoynagar Panir TankTank, and Party at 3:30pm in Bijoynagar.

Meanwhile, the ruling Awami League will also hold a ‘peace and democracy’ rally on Saturday at the party’s central office at Bangabandhu Avenue in Dhaka.

The AL Dhaka City South unit will arrange the rally, where the party’s general secretary, Obaidul Quader, will attend as chief guest.

On Friday, BNP alleged that police forced the party to stop midway before reaching its specific destination.

Hasanuzzaman, the officer-in-charge of Kotwali police station, said BNP activists were asked to leave the street as their procession created a long tailback, halting traffic movement.

‘We did not use any force against them,’ he said.

BNP standing committee member Abdul Moyeen Khan said on Friday that the party’s ongoing street movement would continue until democracy was restored in the country.

‘We remain in the street movement and will stand by the people on the streets until democracy is brought back for the 18 crore people of the country,’ he said.

The BNP leader came up with the remarks while addressing a warm cloth distribution programme in front of the National Press Club on Friday, arranged by the Nationalist Textile Engineers Association of Bangladesh, marking BNP founder Ziaur Rahman’s birth anniversary.

Moyeen Khan said that BNP believed in nonviolent politics, not BAKSHAL, and they would continue their movement in a systematic and democratic way in Bangladesh.

Everyone has taken an oath to bring back democracy in Bangladesh to improve the quality of life of the underprivileged people of the country, he said, adding that the BNP does ideal politics and does not believe in the politics of coming to power like the Awami League.

Criticising the January 7 election, the BNP leader said that a farcical drama was staged here in the name of elections that were boycotted by the people of the country.

‘Not only BNP, the voters of AL also criticised the election, as they knew who would be elected and who would not be elected in the election. It was not decided by voting. It was decided from the capital.’

He said that no election was held. It was just selection in the name of the election, he added.

Moyeen Khan also said, ‘those in favour of the current government have been saying that Bangladesh is the fastest-developing country in the world. So I would like to ask why we have to stand here in this rapidly developing country to distribute blankets to poor people.’