US condemns political violence in Dhaka; calls for calm, restraint

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The United States has condemned the political violence that took place in Dhaka on Saturday and said that it will be “reviewing all violent incidents for possible visa restrictions.” It called for calm and restraint on all sides.


Taking to X, the US Department of State’s account for the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs (SCA) on Friday stated, “The United States condemns today’s political violence in Dhaka. We call for calm and restraint on all sides and will review all violent incidents for possible visa restrictions.”


The statement of the US Department of State comes after a police officer, and a political activist were killed during the clashes between the BNP and police.


The US Embassy in Dhaka called for calm and restraint on all sides. Taking to X, the US Embassy in Dhaka stated, “The United States condemns the political violence that took place in Dhaka on October 28. The reported killing of a police officer, a political activist, and the burning of a hospital are unacceptable. As is violence against civilians, including journalists. We call for calm and restraint on all sides. We will be reviewing all violent incidents for possible visa restrictions.”


Bangladesh political rallies sparked clashes as election tensions rise resulting in the death of a Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) activist and a policeman and left many others injured on Saturday, Dhaka Tribune reported.


Bangladesh’s major political parties BNP and Awami League held protests with scattered violence ahead of expected elections in January 2024. A police constable was killed in a clash with supporters of the BNP in the Fakirapool area. The deceased police personnel has been identified as Aminul Parvez, a constable of DMP’s CTTC unit, according to Dhaka Tribune report.


BNP activist has been identified as Shamim Mollah, president of ward-7 Mugda Thana Jubo Dal. BNP Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi said that Shamim was injured in police firing. According to the BNP leader, he was taken to the Central Police Hospital in critical condition, where the doctors pronounced him dead.


Meanwhile, police said Shamim Mollah died of a heart attack. Central Police Hospital Director Deputy Inspector General of Police Rezaul Haider said that there was no sign of injury on his body. He is believed to have died of a heart attack, according to Dhaka Tribune report.”


In the afternoon when chase and counter chase was taking place between police and BNP men in front of the hospital, the man was passing through the road in front of the hospital. At one stage, he fell unconscious on the road,” Rezaul said.


He added, “After the situation calmed down, some people rescued him from there and brought him to the hospital. Then the doctor on duty declared him dead.”Opposition party supporters were demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and the transfer of power to a non-partisan caretaker government to oversee general elections next year.


The protesters demanded that a free and fair vote under a neutral government should be allowed. The BNP had organised its rally in front of its headquarters to demand for elections under a non-partisan interim government.


Meanwhile, the Awami League held its “peace and development rally” at Baitul Mukarram’s south gate to counter the BNP’s. Since morning, BNP leaders and activists started thronging the rally venue and shouted anti-government slogans. The entire road between the Kakrail intersection to Notre Dame College in Arambagh was packed with party activists and supporters.


Tensions flared up around 11:30 am (local time) when the ruling party activists on two pickups and a bus were stopped by BNP activists near Kakrail mosque, The Daily Star reported. The activists of Awami League were heading towards the Baitul Mukarram mosque to attend their rally, according to police and witnesses. Clashes erupted after the BNP activists vandalised the pickups and the bus. Police present at the spot detained one man involved in vandalism, they said.


After the clash, more BNP activists rushed to the spot and were seen intercepting pedestrians. Dozens of people, including law enforcers, BNP activists and journalists were injured in the clashes. At least 10 vehicles and a police box were torched and over a dozen vehicles were vandalised during the clashes that took place in Kakrail, Nayapaltan, Bijoynagar, Malibagh, Arambagh areas and near Matsya Bhaban, according to The Daily Star report.


Law enforcers fired teargas shells, threw sound grenades and used firearms to disperse the BNP leaders and activists who had gathered at Nayapaltan and nearby areas since morning, according to The Daily Star report.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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