Campaign attacks intensify fears for Bangladesh election
Supporters of two main parties clash in bitter constitutional showdown
New clashes erupted during Bangladesh’s election campaign on Wednesday as opposition leaders complained about the organization of what they see as a one-sided vote.
Youths on motorbikes carrying a banner of the ruling Awami League attacked an opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party candidate with knives, hours after a BNP leader was wounded in fighting between rival party activists, police said.
Habibur Rahman Habib, a BNP candidate for parliament, was attacked by 15 men on motorbikes in the northern town of Ishwardi on Wednesday, said police.
“He was hacked three times on his thigh. He was grievously injured but is out of danger,” local police chief Bahauddin Faruqi told AFP.
Late Tuesday, senior BNP leader Goyeshwar Roy was injured as BNP and Awami League activists clashed in Dhaka district, police superintendent SM Shafiur Rahman told AFP. Media images showed blood pouring down Roy’s face.
The campaign for Sunday’s vote has seen daily confrontations between supporters of the two main parties, which has further soured their bitter constitutional showdown.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is seeking a record fourth term, but her party has been accused of organizing the arrest and intimidation of opposition candidates to boost her chances. The government denies any wrongdoing.
The BNP, whose leader Khaleda Zia is in jail, and its main Islamist ally claim more than 11,500 of their supporters have been detained since the election was called on November 8. Hundreds of their supporters have been injured in fighting, they say.
– with reporting by Agence France-Presse