One dead, hundreds injured in Bangladesh political clashes

  • At least one opposition activist died and hundreds were injured in clashes across Bangladesh on Tuesday.
  • This after thousands took to the streets to call for Prime Minister Sheik Hasina’s resignation.¬†
  • Hasina’s party, Awami League, has been in power since 2009 and has been accused of human rights abuses and corruption.

At least one opposition activist died and hundreds were injured in clashes across Bangladesh on Tuesday as tens of thousands demanded Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s ouster, the first fatality ahead of elections expected in January.

Hasina’s Awami League has ruled the world’s eighth most populous country since 2009 and has been accused of human rights abuses and corruption.

The opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party and dozens of smaller allies have called protests throughout the country to demand Hasina step down and the polls take place under a neutral caretaker government.

The BNP said its marches came under attack in the capital Dhaka and at least 16 other places on Tuesday.

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“Sajib Hossain, one of our activists, was hacked and shot dead by members of student wing of the ruling party” in Laxmipur, BNP spokesman Zahir Uddin Swapan told AFP.

He accused police of opening fire with shotguns at hundreds of BNP supporters in the southern coastal district, leaving at least 200 people injured.

Joynal Abedin, a doctor at the state-run Laxmipur Sadar Hospital, confirmed one person was killed and at least 50 were injured.

“We have to conduct post mortem to know what caused the death,” he said.

A police inspector said they were not sure the death was a result of clashes between the opposition and the ruling party.

National police spokesman Monzur Rahman refused to comment on the nationwide violence.

Western governments have expressed concern over the political climate in Bangladesh, where Hasina’s party dominates the legislature.

Her security forces are accused of detaining tens of thousands of opposition activists, killing hundreds in extrajudicial encounters and disappearing hundreds of leaders and supporters.

The elite Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) security force and seven of its senior officers were sanctioned by Washington in 2021 in response to those alleged rights abuses.

Washington has called for a free and fair election and two senior State Department representatives met with local officials in Dhaka last week.

Last week around 50 000 people attended a rally in Dhaka, which dispersed without incident.

The next general election is due before the current parliament’s term expires in late January.


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