Opposition BNP's protest turns violent amid calls for Bangladesh PM to resign

Supporters of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) throw brickbats towards police during a clash in Dhaka. (Photo/Reuters)

One police officer has been killed in Bangladesh and over 100 people injured during an opposition party protest demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and calling for a free and fair vote under a caretaker government.

Police fired tear gas and rubber bullets as clashes erupted when tens of thousands of supporters of the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) gathered in the capital Dhaka on Saturday, chanting slogans against the government.

Dozens of vehicles, including police vans and ambulances, were set on fire, police and media said.

Dhaka Metropolitan Police spokesman Faruq Hossain told reporters one officer had been killed and 41 others were injured in clashes with protesters.

Several journalists were attacked and injured while trying to cover the clashes, media reports said. Security was tightened in the city in recent days as thousands of people arrived to attend the rally.

Hundreds of opposition party activists have been arrested, BNP leaders said.

The party has been calling on Hasina to resign to allow elections scheduled in January to be held under a neutral caretaker government — a demand her government has so far rejected.

"Today's rally continued for hours in a perfectly disciplined and peaceful manner until all of a sudden the lobbing of tear gas shells started," senior BNP leader Abdul Moyeen Khan said.

"The intensity increased and violent attacks with sounds of blasts and shootings turned the whole place into a war zone." The BNP has called for a dawn-to-dusk countrywide strike in protest against the police action.


Source: TRT