Bangladesh opposition activists clash with police, 1 killed

Dhaka, Dec 7 (EFE).- One person died and at least eight were injured when supporters of the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) clashed with police in Dhaka on Wednesday.

Police Inspector Bachchu Mia, head of the Dhaka Medical College Hospital police outpost, told EFE that the victim succumbed to a bullet injury from a shotgun.

“We now have eight to nine injured people here at the hospital,” Mia said.

Local newspapers and television channels said the clash erupted after police chased away BNP leaders and activists from the areas near their party office.

The clash occurred as the BNP planned to hold a mass rally in Dhaka on Dec. 10.

The BNP has held mass rallies at the divisional headquarters since October to protest the rising prices of daily commodities, including fuel, and the killing of party leaders and activists.

The party demands the unconditional release of chairperson Khaleda Zia and parliamentary elections under a non-party neutral government.

The BNP accused the government and the ruling Awami League of resorting to arrests and intimidation to foil its rally.

BNP leader Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir told EFE on Wednesday that at least ten leaders and activists died in the protests since August.

A BNP press statement on Tuesday said the police arrested at least 1,400 of their leaders and activists in the crackdown since Nov.30.

In October, the New York-based nonprofit Human Rights Watch, in a statement, urged the Bangladesh government to end its crackdown on the opposition and protect the right to freedom of association and peaceful assembly.

On Tuesday, over a dozen countries, including the United States and the European Union, reminded Bangladesh of the importance of fair and peaceful democratic processes.

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


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