Fatal Clashes in Bangladesh Claim Lives of Police and Protester, Igniting Tensions Amidst Looming Elections
A member of the police and an opposition political leader were killed while over a hundred, including opposition activists, law enforcers, and journalists, were injured in hours-long clashes during anti-government grand rallies in Bangladesh's capital Dhaka Saturday evening, flaring the prevailing political tensions in the country ahead of the national elections scheduled to be held in January 2024. The diseased policeman has been identified as Amirul Parvez, a constable of Dhaka Metropolitan Police's Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) unit. On the other hand, the opposition leader killed during Saturday's violence has been identified as Shamim Mia, a leader of the main opposition political party, Bangladesh Nationalist Party's (BNP) associate organization, Jubo Dal, in the capital Dhaka's Mugda area. The clashes first occurred in Dhaka's Kakrail area and rapidly spread to other parts of the mega city of nearly 20 million people. Police fired tear gas shells and rubber bullets targeting the opposition protesters. In retaliation, the opposition political activists threw stones and brickbats at the law enforcers and set many vehicles on the streets, including motorbikes, on fire.