Nonstop blockade in poll-bound Bangladesh enters 2nd day

Posted By: PTI
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Dhaka, Jan 2: At least 12 people, including two policemen, were injured in clashes and a passenger bus was torched as the opposition-sponsored nonstop blockade in Bangladesh to derail the January 5 polls entered its second day today.

At least 10 people were injured in a triangular clash among workers of ruling Awami League and main opposition BNP and police in northern Bogra district. The clash erupted between Awami League and BNP workers when the latter vandalised an office of the ruling party in Baluarhat Bazar area in the district, police said.

The clashing activists locked into a fight with police when they rushed to the spot and tried to disperse them, local media reported. Two policemen were injured during the clashes. Meanwhile, two persons were injured when unidentified persons set fire to a bus in the capital's Mirpur area.

Blockade supporters exploded three handmade bombs on the Topkhana road in Dhaka. However, none was injured. They also targeted a pick-up van carrying police with a crude bomb in western Rajshahi city. Yesterday, an activist of Jubo Dal - a front organisation of BNP - was killed in clashes on the first day the nationwide blockade.

The BNP-led 18-party opposition alliance is boycotting the polls and political violence during nationwide strikes and blockades enforced by the opposition since November have left over 120 people dead and crippled the economy.

Opposition parties were demanding election under non-party caretaker government to oversee the polls. Besides the opposition, a key ally of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's Awami League party has also boycotted the polls. Hasina, however, insists that the vote will go ahead as planned.


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