Student dies in Bangladesh clashes
A student has died in clashes between a large number of Bangladeshi opposition protesters and security forces in the capital, Dhaka, during demonstrations against the upcoming general elections.
Mozammel Haque, a Dhaka police official, said the student died during scuffles on Sunday.
The Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) says up to a million people are likely to gather in central Dhaka for the ‘March for Democracy’ demonstration later in the day. Opposition leader Khaleda Zia is said to be delivering a speech during the event, although she has been under house arrest since December 25.
Police have banned March for Democracy.
Over 750 opposition supporters have already been detained for what authorities have described as a “preventive measure.”
Dhaka-bound transportation services including bus, ferry and train operations have been suspended.
Zia says Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina should postpone the January 5 elections and resign. The premier has rejected the demand.
The BNP and 20 other opposition parties have boycotted the polls citing fears that the government would manipulate the results.
Commentators say Hasina’s Awami League will claim victory in the elections, which will further widen the political divide in a country that has undergone nearly two dozen coups since its independence in 1971.
Over 270 people have died in clashes between police and protesters during demonstrations against the January elections and the war crime trials of opposition leaders since the beginning of 2013.