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Bangladesh opposition leader under 'virtual' house arrest

Discussion in 'Bangladesh Defence Forum' started by idune, Dec 28, 2013.

  1. idune

    idune ELITE MEMBER

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    Bangladesh opposition leader under 'virtual' house arrest

    Bangladesh's opposition accused authorities of placing their leader under virtual house arrest Thursday as tens of thousands of troops were deployed across the country ahead of elections next month.

    Amid growing violence in the build-up to the January 5 general election, the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) said police were barring anyone from visiting their leader Khaleda Zia at her home in Dhaka.

    The move comes after Zia, a two-time former premier and arch rival of current Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, called for supporters to stage a mass march on the capital this Sunday aimed at scuppering the polls.

    The BNP is one of 21 opposition parties which are boycotting the elections over Hasina's refusal to stand aside and allow a neutral caretaker government to organise the contest.

    The country's largest Islamist party, Jamaat-e-Islami, has also been banned from taking part.

    "Since yesterday she has been under virtual house arrest," BNP vice-president Shamsher Mobin Chowdhury told AFP.

    [​IMG]
    Bangladesh opposition leader Khaleda Zia, pictured in Dhaka on December 24, 2013, has been kept under virtual house arrest after she called for a mass march aimed at scuppering a January 5 election, the party said

    "Police are not allowing anyone, including party leaders and activists, to meet her. It is part of a government move to foil the December 29 march for democracy."

    Deputy commissioner of Dhaka police Lutful Kabir confirmed that extra officers had been deployed outside Zia's home in the upmarket Gulshan neighbourhood but said the move was designed to "enhance her security".

    Police confirmed two senior BNP members, including a current lawmaker, were detained outside Zia's home on Wednesday night but denied the arrests were made because they wanted to meet her.

    With Hasina and her Awami League party determined the election goes ahead, troops are being sent to nearly every corner of the country at the end of what has been an unprecedented year for political violence.

    A total of 269 people have been killed since January, either in protests at the elections or by Islamists who have seen several of their leaders sentenced to death from crimes dating back to the 1971 independence war.

    [​IMG]
    Soldiers patrol the streets of Dhaka during a blockade organised by the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party and its Islamist allies on December 24, 2013

    The authorities are expecting Sunday's rally to further inflame tensions with Zia having made clear its purpose is to force a last-minute cancellation of the polls.

    "This march is to say 'no' to these farcical elections and to say 'yes' to democracy," she said in a speech on Tuesday.

    Troop deployments

    The troop deployments are expected to infuriate the BNP which has accused the government of trying to set the army up against normal civilians.

    Election Commission spokesman S.M. Asaduzzaman said that troops would be deployed in at least 59 of the country's 64 districts.

    "They'll be used as a striking force if there is any violence and they will patrol important areas, streets and highways," he told AFP.

    While a small number of soldiers had begun taking up positions earlier this week, military spokesman Muhammad Reza-ul Karim said the mass deployment began Thursday and will continue until January 9.

    "The troops have been deployed at the request of the Election Commission... in an effort to ensure free, fair and peaceful elections," Karim said in a statement.

    [​IMG]
    Soldiers patrol the streets of Dhaka in a truck during a blockade organised by the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party and its Islamist allies on December 24, 2013

    The soldiers would initially be deployed to the main towns and cities in the districts before then moving into more rural areas.

    He did not say how many troops were being deployed but local media put the number at around 50,000.

    The boycotts have highlighted the growing political polarisation in the country of 153 million.

    While Bangladesh has had a deeply troubled history since independence, with nearly two dozen coups, this year has been the bloodiest since it broke free from its former rulers in Islamabad 42 years ago.

    A constable was burned to death in a petrol bomb attack on a police vehicle Tuesday night while two more people succumbed to their burn injuries Wednesday.

    Much of the violence has been blamed on supporters of Jamaat-e-Islami, one of whose leaders was hanged earlier this month for war crimes.

    Three rounds of UN-brokered talks between the government and opposition have failed to resolve the dispute between the Awami League and the BNP whose leaders despise each other.

    The United States, European Union and the Commonwealth countries have announced they will not send observers to the election, seriously denting its credibility.

    Strikes and blockades have crippled the economy, affecting millions of poor farmers and the urban middle class in what is the world's eighth most populous country and one of the poorest in Asia.

    The strikes have done further damage to an economy already reeling from the impact on the crucial garment sector from a factory collapse in April which sparked widespread industrial unrest.

    AFP.com
     
  2. Saiful Islam

    Saiful Islam SENIOR MEMBER

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    Why won't any one send poll observers?
     
  3. idune

    idune ELITE MEMBER

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    Because, this is farcical election, no opposition party participating. more than half of the candidate elected even before the vote. Bottom line there is no credibility of Awami League.
     
  4. Zabaniyah

    Zabaniyah ELITE MEMBER

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    SAARC nations might.

    Martians are a possibility!
     
  5. PlanetSoldier

    PlanetSoldier SENIOR MEMBER

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    Hamba League's gonna teach Martians how to hold a free fair general election.....they're in chaos you know :rofl: !
     
  6. idune

    idune ELITE MEMBER

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    Indian backed Awami League genocidal regime withdrawn protocol of opposition leader and directly prevented her from going out of her home to office.

    খালেদার প্রোটোকল প্রত্যাহার, বাসা ঘেরাও করেছে আইন-শৃঙ্খলা বাহিনী

    [​IMG] 28 Dec, 2013
    বিরোধীদলীয় নেতা ও বিএনপি চেয়ারপারসন বেগম খালেদা জিয়ার গুলশানের বাসার সামনে অতিরিক্ত পুলিশসহ বিপুল সংখ্যক অন্যান্য আইনশৃঙ্খলা বাহিনীর সদস্য মোতায়েন করা হয়েছে। একই সঙ্গে তার বাসার সামনের রাস্তা বন্ধ করে দেয়া হয়েছে। শনিবার রাত ৮টার দিকে আইনশৃঙ্খলা বাহিনীর সদস্যরা ওই রাস্তা বন্ধ করে দেয়।

    বিডিটুডে.নেট:খালেদার প্রোটোকল প্রত্যাহার, বাসা ঘেরাও করেছে আইন-শৃঙ্খলা বাহিনী