Opposition on the run as Bangladesh preps for elections, more than 10,000 arrested | Mint
Active Stocks
Fri Feb 23 2024 15:58:13
  1. Tata Steel share price
  2. 145.50 -0.24%
  1. State Bank Of India share price
  2. 759.40 -0.86%
  1. HDFC Bank share price
  2. 1,420.90 0.08%
  1. NTPC share price
  2. 337.70 -0.54%
  1. ITC share price
  2. 411.60 -0.65%
Business News/ News / World/  Opposition on the run as Bangladesh preps for elections, more than 10,000 arrested
BackBack

Opposition on the run as Bangladesh preps for elections, more than 10,000 arrested

Opposition leaders in Bangladesh are on the run as a general election approaches. The Bangladesh Nationalist Party has boycotted the upcoming polls after Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina refused to cede power to a caretaker government.

A boy plays next to posters of a candidate from the Bangladesh Awami League with a picture of Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister of Bangladesh, ahead of the general election, in Dhaka, Bangladesh, January 3, 2024. REUTERS/Mohammad Ponir Hossain TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY (REUTERS)Premium
A boy plays next to posters of a candidate from the Bangladesh Awami League with a picture of Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister of Bangladesh, ahead of the general election, in Dhaka, Bangladesh, January 3, 2024. REUTERS/Mohammad Ponir Hossain TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY (REUTERS)

Opposition leaders in Bangladesh have gone on the run as a general election approaches. Critics have also lashed out at Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina over what they call a "one-sided dummy election" due in this week. The Bangladesh Nationalist Party has boycotted the upcoming polls after the PM refused to cede power to a caretaker government.

“We're not even in the election, but they are still not sparing us. Police and other government agents were hunting for our leaders, particularly in their homes. The situation instilled fear in our minds," opposition leader Abdul Moyeen Khan told Reuters. 

The party claims that 10 million of its workers are now on the run to escape a government crackdown. Around 25,000 people have been arrested following deadly anti-government protests on October 28. Khan told the publication that he had been forced to hide in the homes of a several acquaintances until poll nominations closed.

ALSO READ: Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus faces jail in Bangladesh court ruling

Rights organisations have issued repeated warnings about a crackdown to subdue the Opposition over the past few months. Hasina and her Awami League however condemn the BNP as troublemakers out to sabotage the elections. A November report by the New York-based Human Rights Watch said that around 10,000 BNP activists had been arrested. At least 16 have been killed – including two police officers – and about 5,500 injured in the violence.

“Human Rights Watch has found evidence that security forces are responsible for using excessive force, mass arbitrary arrests, enforced disappearances, torture, and extrajudicial killings in a recent spate of election-related violence.…Videos and witness reports show disturbing evidence of coordination between the police and the Awami League supporters in threatening and targeting opposition party activists," the report contends.

The developments come amid a leadership vaccum and disarray in the Opposition ranks. Ailing party president and former PM Khaleda Zia — famed for her bitter, decades-long rivalry with Hasina — continues to stay away from active politics. While her son has taken the mantle temporarily from exile and the party's next most senior leader – Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir – has been in jail since October 29.

(With inputs from agencies)

Unlock a world of Benefits! From insightful newsletters to real-time stock tracking, breaking news and a personalized newsfeed – it's all here, just a click away! Login Now!

Catch all the Business News, Market News, Breaking News Events and Latest News Updates on Live Mint. Check all the latest action on Budget 2024 here. Download The Mint News App to get Daily Market Updates.
More Less
Published: 04 Jan 2024, 05:50 AM IST
Next Story footLogo
Recommended For You
Switch to the Mint app for fast and personalized news - Get App