The main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party said on Friday that the party had no headache about what the United States, United Kingdom, or India were saying, as the party only cared about what the people wanted.

‘There is no need to worry about the United States, the United Kingdom, or India’s statements. We need to know what people are saying. Our people are clearly saying goodbye to this government,’ BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said at a rally in Dhaka.

BNP’s Dhaka city south and north units organised the rally in front of the party’s Naya Paltan central office, as part of its countrywide demonstration protesting at what they said was a prescribed verdict against the party’s acting chairman Tarique Rahman and his wife Zubaida Rahman in a corruption case filed by the Anti-Corruption Commission in 2007 during the army-backed caretaker government.

Several hundred BNP leaders and activists participated in the rally, defying heavy rain that created water-logging at the rally venue.

‘This government’s time is up. There is no corruption left. Corruption spreads at all levels. Today’s crisis is not only BNP’s. The entire nation is facing a crisis. This monster government should be defeated through a massive movement,’ Fakhrul said.

Terming the Awami League government as the enemy of independence and democracy, the BNP leader said that they had established a fascist regime in the country.

‘Tarique Rahman, who is leading the rescue of the people from this fascist government, under whose leadership the entire nation is united today, has been sentenced in a false case. Not only Tarique Rahman but also Zubaida Rahman, who was never involved in politics, had been sentenced. Because she is Tarique Rahman’s wife,’ Fakhrul said.

He said that this government was timid and cowardly, and as a result, they used the administration and the judiciary to stay in power.

‘After the meeting with the US ambassador, journalists asked Obaidul Quader [AL general secretary] whether he was under any pressure. He said, I am not under any pressure, but I am under pressure of conscience. In fact, the government is seeing the darkness in its eyes. So they are saying different things at different times,’ he said.

He said that Tarique had been sentenced on charges of corruption filed at a time when 15 cases were also filed against the current government head on charges of corruption.

‘They [Al] have dismissed the cases using the judiciary. Not only that, the government promotes those who are accused of corruption. Today, corruption has spread like a spider’s web throughout the entire country,’ he said.

He said that BNP leaders and activists are taken to jail without crime, and hanging orders are given.

‘Judges who give illegal judgements will have to answer to Allah one day. Bangladesh was established for justice. Always remember the past. Don’t forget that the people who woke up today will judge you,’ Fakhrul said.

BNP standing committee members and other central leaders also addressed the protest rally, presided over by BNP Dhaka city north unit convener Aman Ullah Aman.

The party’s metropolitan and district units also brought out rallies and processions across the country on the day.

In many places, BNP people faced police obstacles in bringing out their processions.

On Wednesday, the Dhaka Metropolitan Senior Special Judge’s Court jailed Tarique for nine years and Zubaida for three years in a 2007 case filed by the Anti-Corruption Commission on charges of amassing illegal wealth and hiding wealth information.