Violence mars Bangladesh poll campaign

December 13, 2018 - 11:31

TEHRAN - The campaigning for elections in Bangladesh has kicked off on a sad note with scores injured in political rallies across the country.

According to reports, the campaigning turned violent on Tuesday as police fired pellet guns into crowds and stick-wielding mobs attacked rival candidates.
Police quoted by AFP said clashes broke out in at least seven major towns on just the second day of campaigning, injuring nearly 100 people who turned out to cheer the two major parties contesting the Dec 30 polls.
The unrest follows a crackdown on the Bangladesh Nationalist Party in recent weeks, with hundreds of supporters from the main opposition party sent to jail before campaigning had even begun, according to AFP report.
In one of the districts, a motorcade of an opposition leader Fakhrul Islam Alamgir was set upon by a huge crowd swinging batons, said the report.
The opposition party blamed people aligned to the ruling Awami League, the party headed by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina who is running for a record fourth term in office.
Around 100 million voters have registered for this year's election, even though the opposition is yet to name a candidate to run against the incumbent PM.
Veteran opposition leader and two-time Prime Minister Khaleda Zia has been barred from contesting the election against her long-time rival Hasina.
She is serving 10-year jail term on graft charges her supporters say are baseless.