Leaders and activists of Bangladesh Nationalist Party in their hundreds accorded colourful receptions to party chairperson Khaleda Zia on her way to Cox’s Bazar where she reached Sunday evening to visit Rohingyas who took shelter there fleeing ongoing ethnic cleansing in Myanmar.
She started for the tourism district town from Chittagong circuit house at about 12:15pm.
No untoward incident was reported during the movement of Khaleda’s motorcade, BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir told New Age at about 6:30pm when the motorcade was at Ramu, about 25 kilometres away from Cox’s Bazar town
The motorcade was attacked allegedly by ruling Awami League activists at places including Feni on her way to Chittagong from Dhaka on Saturday.
Presence of BNP leaders, activists and supporters on the road seemed to be more on Sunday than that of Saturday to greet Khaleda.
Cheerful activists of BNP and its front and associate organisations greeted Khaleda in a festive manner decorating a bridge on the road with colourful ribbons, flower chain and festoons at Shikolbaha of Patia on Chittagong-Cox’s Bazar highway.
A decorated elephant bearing a placard inscribed ‘Welcome Khaleda’ at the spot added extra flavour to the greetings to Khaleda.
A group of young women in yellow saris with red stripe on the bottom showered flower petals to Khaleda at Shikolbaha.
Another bridge on the road was decorated with colourful pieces of fine clothes along with attaching sheaf of paddy, the election symbol of BNP.
Hundreds of leaders and activists queued on both sides of the Chittagong-Cox›s Bazar highway at places, Shah Amanath Bridge over Karnophuli, Shantirhat, Monshartek of Potia, Chandanais, Satkania, Lauhagara and inside Chittagong city greeted Khaleda chanting slogans.
The activists held banners, festoons, posters, and portraits of BNP founder Ziaur Rahman, Khaleda, senior vice-chairman Tarique Rahman and local and central leaders of the respective areas.
Police were seen active at the spots of gatherings.
The gatherings caused traffic congestion at places.
Smiling Khaleda responded to excited activists waving hand.
School and college students with uniform were also seen standing on roadside near Patia college to welcome her.
Earlier on Saturday, Khaleda’s motorcade came under attack at places on Dhaka-Chittagong Highway particularly in Feni allegedly by ruling Awami League activists. Several people including journalists were injured.
Talking to journalists at Chittagong Circuit House and a Chittagong hotel on Sunday BNP secretary general Fakhrul said that the ruling Awami League activists were involved in the attacks.
He said that they had already gathered details about the attackers.
He said that journalists witnessed the incidents and could say who carried out the attacks.
He made the remarks when asked about that Awami League general secretary Obaidul Quader’s statement claiming that Saturday’s attack was caused by BNP’s infighting.
Khaleda Zia was scheduled for staying overnight at Cox’s Bazar circuit house before starting for Ukhia this morning to visit Rohimgya camps.
On her way back to Dhaka, she is scheduled to stay overnight at Chittagong circuit house today before starting for Dhaka on Tuesday.
BNP’s front organisations Jatiyatabadi Juba Dal, Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal and Jatiyatabadi Swechchhasebok Dal staged demonstrations across the country in protest against Saturday’s attacks.
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