Bangladesh: Four dead, over 500 arrested on first day of BNP's nationwide blockade
Dhaka, Nov 1 : At least four people died while more than 500 BNP-Jamaat men were arrested across Bangladesh on the first day of the Opposition's nationwide 72-hour rail, road, and waterways blockade on Tuesday.
There were reports of 26 violent clashes in 14 districts across the country, during which more than 24 public buses were set on fire while 18 buses were vandalised.
The political turbulence, which erupted on October 28 after a senior BNP leader and dozens of members of his party were arrested following violent anti-government protests in Dhaka, has now spread into a five-day ordeal, leaving a trail of deaths, blood and mayhem with no resolution in sight.
A senior Bangladesh opposition leader and dozens of members of his party have been arrested after violent anti-government protests in Dhaka.
The ruling Awami League promised to come down hard on the main opposition BNP and arrested more than 500 including two top leaders of the party.
With the time for the next election schedule approaching fast, the current situation bears a frightening resemblance to the period leading to the 2014 elections marked by violent clashes amid opposition boycott.
As of now, the ruling Awami League is determined to keep the situation under control while the opposition BNP wants to paralyse the administration to force the government to resign in favour of a polls-time government.
With both parties locking horns, political observers believe that the situation may continue to deteriorate before the announcement of the election schedule.
The Election Commission will hold dialogues with all 44 registered political parties on November 4 and the chief election commissioner is scheduled to meet with the president the next day to discuss the upcoming election schedule
The announcement of the election schedule is expected to follow the usual practice, likely in mid-November.
According to the Constitution, parliamentary elections must be held within 90 days before the end of the five-year term of the current parliament which ends on January 29.
The 90-day count has begun from November 1.