Bangladesh govt blocks mass rally in Dhaka ahead of Jan 5 polls

Dhaka on Monday remained tense as the opposition vowed to continue its protest in a bid to scupper the elections scheduled for January 5.

Zee Media Bureau

Dhaka: A day after one protester was killed in the violence between the police and opposition activists, Bangladesh capital Dhaka on Monday remained tense as the opposition vowed to continue its protest in a bid to scupper the elections scheduled for January 5.

 The government had yesterday managed to avoid a mass gathering planned by the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party`s Khaleda Zia.

The former PM Zia was not allowed to leave her house and the venue near her party headquarters was cordoned off.

In wake of elections, Bangladesh had deployed tens of thousands of troops across the country and the opposition accused authorities of placing Zia under virtual house arrest.

The mass rally was planned by Zia`s BNP and 2o other opposition parties which are demanding the PM Sheikh Hasina to halt the Jan 5 elections and hand over the power to a caretaker government.

Dhaka was on Sunday cut off from the entire country as the security officials put barricades at entry points, and kept public transport off the streets across the country on Sunday, making it difficult for Zia`s supporters to move. 

More than 150 people have died in political violence in Bangladesh since the crisis intensified in October. The conflict pits an opposition alliance led by Zia`s party against Hasina, who accuses Zia of protecting people being tried or convicted of war crimes involving the nation`s 1971 independence war against Pakistan. 

Jamaat-e-Islami, the main partner of Zia`s party, wants the government to halt the war crimes trials of its leaders.

Zia says the trials initiated by Hasina are politically motivated to weaken the opposition, which the government denies. Jamaat-e-Islami is banned from taking part in the election. 

With Agency Inputs

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