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Saturday, May 25, 2024

Army deployed for Sunday elections

Hasina has consistently accused the BNP of instigating anti-government protests that have unsettled Dhaka since late October, resulting in at least 10 casualties.

Army deployed for Sunday elections

Troops were deployed across Bangladesh on Wednesday amid concerns of potential violence leading up to a national election, which the primary opposition party is opting to boycott. Soldiers traveled in armored vehicles to temporary camps established throughout the capital, Dhaka, with the aim of assisting the civil administration in maintaining peace and security.

The Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) is refusing to participate in the upcoming election scheduled for Sunday. This decision follows Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s rejection of their demands for her resignation and the transfer of power to a neutral authority to oversee the poll.

Hasina has consistently accused the BNP of instigating anti-government protests that have unsettled Dhaka since late October, resulting in at least 10 casualties. when, protesters  set a train on fire, resulting in the deaths of four individuals, including a mother and child. This incident represented one of the  episode of unrest triggered by anti-government protests, during which numerous buses and vehicles have been torched, leading to at least six fatalities since October 28 when an opposition rally turned violent.

PM under clouds of accusations 

The military clarified that troops would only intervene upon the request of polling officers. Additionally, the navy has been deployed in two coastal districts, and the air force is set to provide helicopter support to polling stations in remote hilly areas.

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Prime Minister Hasina, who has held a firm grip on power since 2009, faces accusations of authoritarianism, human rights violations, suppression of free speech, and stifling dissent by imprisoning critics. Khaleda Zia, the main rival and two-time premier from the BNP, is effectively confined to her residence under what her party claims are fabricated corruption charges. Meanwhile, Tarique Rahman, BNP’s acting chairman and Zia’s son, resides in exile, refuting multiple charges brought against him. Pressure from Western countries is mounting on Hasina’s government to ensure the conduct of free and fair elections.