Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) said on Wednesday that the power, gas and water tariffs were increased by the government following its anti-people policy. Senior joint secretary general of BNP Ruhul Kabir Rizvi made the comment addressing a rally after a party procession in front of its Nayapaltan central office.

The procession that was brought out from in front of the party's central office ended at the same place after parading Nightingale intersection at Kakrail in the city.

BNP brought out the procession in protest against the surge in tariffs of power, gas and water and also demanding immediate release of detained party leaders including its chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia.

"Power comes and goes frequently in rural areas. It comes only for 15 minutes and then goes out. People (most of them) in the capital failed to cook properly during the just ended Eid. Meat rotted due to shortage of power and gas," he said.

"People's lands and assets are being usurped by the ruling party men, which have started coming in the media," he continued. "Benazir and his family have gotten so much money in the country and we couldn't guess how much money he (Benazir) has siphoned off abroad," he said.

"Salary of how much money a government employee draws a month? May be his monthly salary was between Tk80,000 and Tk90,000. Then how his offspring got so many flats and lands etc? Because they (Benazir and others) were given that opportunity (by the government) in the name of so-called development," he maintained.

Mr Rizvi criticised the Dhaka WASA authorities for increasing water tariff. He said that they were on the movement for realising public demands and ensuring freedom of speech and establishing the just.

He called upon the party activists to intensify their movement on the streets. "May be they (government) could open bullets on us and issue threats of enforced disappearance and crossfire. But despite all these threats we must not end our movement," he said.

Health affairs secretary of BNP Dr Md Rafiqul Islam, assistant economic affairs secretary Mahmudur Rahman Suman and convener of Tanti Dal Abul Kalam Azad were present, among others.