Tens of 1000’s of opposition activists march in capital Dhaka and different cities asking PM Sheikh Hasina to stop earlier than nationwide polls.
Not less than one opposition activist has died and tons of of others have been injured in clashes throughout Bangladesh as tens of 1000’s demanded Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s elimination forward of elections anticipated in January.
Tens of 1000’s of opposition activists on Tuesday defied the scorching solar to march in capital Dhaka and different cities, calling for Hasina’s resignation.
Hasina’s Awami League has dominated the world’s eighth most populous nation since 2009 and has been accused of human rights abuses and corruption.
The opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Occasion (BNP) led by former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia and dozens of smaller allies have referred to as for protests all through the nation to demand Hasina step down and the polls happen beneath a impartial caretaker authorities.
Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, secretary common of the BNP, referred to as upon the federal government to instantly step down, dissolve parliament and hand energy to an interim administration to assist restore democracy within the South Asian nation.
In Dhaka, activists and supporters from completely different elements of town joined the march that stretched for almost 13km, bringing site visitors at completely different factors to a standstill for hours on a busy weekday.
“Many of those individuals collaborating within the march didn’t essentially belong to political events. They got here from completely different walks of life, from cab drivers to truck drivers to rickshaw pullers who mentioned they have been upset with the federal government due to the financial disaster,” mentioned Al Jazeera’s Tanvir Chowdhury, reporting from Dhaka.
The BNP mentioned its marches got here beneath assault in Dhaka and at the least 16 different locations on Tuesday.
“Sajib Hossain, one in all our activists, was hacked and shot lifeless by members of scholar wing of the ruling occasion” in Laxmipur, BNP spokesman Zahir Uddin Swapan advised the AFP information company.
He accused police of opening hearth with shotguns at tons of of BNP supporters within the southern coastal district, leaving at the least 200 individuals injured.
Joynal Abedin, a physician on the state-run Laxmipur Sadar Hospital, confirmed one particular person was killed and at the least 50 others have been injured.
“We now have to conduct autopsy to know what brought about the demise,” he mentioned.
A police inspector mentioned they weren’t positive the demise was a results of clashes between the opposition and the ruling occasion.
Nationwide police spokesman Monzur Rahman refused to touch upon the nationwide violence.
Western governments have expressed concern over the political climate in Bangladesh, the place Hasina’s occasion dominates the legislature.
Her safety forces are accused of detaining tens of 1000’s of opposition activists, killing tons of in extrajudicial encounters and disappearing tons of of leaders and supporters.
The elite Speedy Motion Battalion (RAB) safety power and 7 of its senior officers have been sanctioned by Washington in 2021 in response to these alleged rights abuses.
America has called for a free and fair election and two senior State Division representatives met with native officers in Dhaka final week.
The BNP and its allies accuse Hasina’s occasion of rigging the 2 most up-to-date elections in 2018 and 2014.
To counter the protests, the ruling occasion additionally deliberate a “peace and improvement” procession in Dhaka on Tuesday. Not less than 10 individuals have been injured after BNP and Awami League supporters clashed within the southeastern district of Khagrachhari.
Final week, about 50,000 individuals attended a rally in Dhaka, which dispersed with out incident. The BNP and different opposition teams have deliberate extra rallies on Wednesday.
The subsequent common election is due earlier than the present parliament’s time period expires in late January.