Two opponents were killed. killed Tuesday in Bangladesh where violence broke out in several cities after the indictment of the main opposition leaders, who called for the departure of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina before the next elections.
On Sunday, opposition leader Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir and at least 163 cadres of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) of which he is general secretary were charged with murder after the death of a police officer during a large anti-government demonstration the day before in Dhaka.
Tuesday evening, two other high-ranking BNP officials, including its leader in the Bangladeshi capital, also accused of the murder of this police officer, were arrested, announced the police.
She also declared that violence had again broken out in many localities, while members of the BNP and Jamaat-e-Islami, the country's largest Islamist party, demanded that Sheikh Hasina resign before the legislative elections planned for by the end of January.
Two opposition activists died in unclear circumstances, according to the authorities of Kuliarchar, north of Dhaka, against a backdrop of clashes between the police and hundreds of demonstrators who interrupted traffic on roads and railway tracks following a call for a three-day nationwide strike.
The Bangladesh Nationalist Party said it wanted to block transport after police dispersed the rally on Saturday in the capital of more than 100,000 supporters of the two main opposition parties who demanded free and fair elections under the supervision of a neutral and provisional government.
– Numerous violence –
Shariful Alam, a BNP official, claimed that the two opponents had been “shot dead by the police” during a demonstration of more than 2,000 people.
Police officers fire rubber bullets to disperse Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) activists who try to block a highway in Araihazar, near Dhaka, on October 31, 2023 in Bangladesh © AFP – Munir UZ ZAMAN
“The police arrived and opened fire. One BNP activist died on the spot and another in hospital,” he said, adding that “more than 100 people were injured.”
The protesters confronted the police with Molotov cocktails and stones, the police assured.
“They (…) attacked and vandalized transport vehicles,” said a police officer, Mominul Islam, according to whom at least 15 of his colleagues were injured.
“The police fired rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse the demonstrators,” he stressed.
In the industrial city of Narayanganj, three police officers were “seriously injured” by gunfire. opposition demonstrators, lamented Amir Khasru, the district's deputy police chief. “They were attacked with sharp weapons,” he continued, without further details.
– The international community is concerned –
The opposition has been increasing protests against Ms. Hasina for months.
According to Dhaka police, at least 1,727 opposition activists and other supporters were arrested last week and at least 1,544 opposition activists and leaders were charged in connection with the violence on Saturday. /p>
< /p>A police officer next to a bus set on fire by activists of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) during a rally as part of a nationwide strike, on October 29, 2023 in Dhaka, Bangladesh © AFP – Munir UZ ZAMAN
The main one among them, Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, aged 75, has been at the head of the BNP since the conviction for corruption of Khaleda Zia, the president of this party and former Prime Minister, and the exile of his son to Great Britain.
Ms. Zia, ill, has been under house arrest since her release from prison.
Violence in Bangladesh raises international concern.
“We are deeply concerned by a series of violent incidents during the ongoing protests in Bangladesh,” he said. thus reacted the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCR) in a press release.
The American ambassador, Peter Haas, for his part urged all parties to negotiations in order to guarantee “free, fair and peaceful elections”, according to the Dhaka Tribune newspaper.
But the head of government rejected this call.
“The way they killed (Saturday) an innocent police officer, are they human beings?” Sheikh Hasina asked journalists. “Why should we have a meeting with the killers?” she added. “Why dialogue? The people of Bangladesh do not want it.”
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