Conflicts & War

1 dead, scores injured in clashes between ruling party, opposition in Bangladesh

Dhaka, Jul 18 (EFE).- At least one person was killed and scores injured as protests by Bangladesh’s main opposition party, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), turned violent on Tuesday.

Police in the southeastern Lakshmipur district said a man was hacked to death while 15-20 people were wounded as the opposition activists clashed with supporters of the ruling Awami League in the afternoon.

“One person was chopped to death during the clash. We could not confirm the political identity of the victim,” local police station chief Mosleh Uddin told EFE.

Mosleh said that several policemen were among the injured.

BNP spokesperson Shahiduddin Chowdhury Annie said the dead victim was an activist of the farmers’ wing of the party.

Annie alleged that party activists were attacked by the police and ruling party supporters in many parts of the country.

He, however, was unable to give the exact number of people injured.

BNP’s official Facebook page reported clashes in northern Bogura, north-east Kishoreganj, southern Pirojpur, eastern Feni, Khagrachari, and Lakshmipur.

Clashes were also reported from the capital city of Dhaka.

The BNP organized road-march protests in district and divisional headquarters of the country, demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and the formation of a caretaker government before the next general election.

BNP announced it would hold similar protests in Dhaka and elsewhere in the country also on Wednesday.

On July 12, thousands of opposition supporters demonstrated in the capital with a similar demand.

The BNP has been holding protests since August against rising commodity prices and demanding the unconditional release of party chief Khaleda Zia and the formation of an interim government for the polls.

Zia, sentenced to ten years on a corruption charge, is banned from engaging in political activities or leaving the country after her conditional release in March 2020.

BNP spokesperson Annie said 17 leaders and activists have died and 1,790 have been injured in clashes with police and supporters of the ruling Awami League between Aug.22, 2022, and Jul.12, 2023.

The clashes come at a moment of apparent escalation of political tensions ahead of the next general elections due between December 2023 and January 2024.

The Awami League and the BNP have ruled Bangladesh since 1991, except for a brief quasi-military rule in 2007–08. EFE


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