Press Trust of India
Dhaka, 6 January
At least five persons were killed in post-poll violence in Bangladesh today
as Opposition parties enforced a nationwide strike to protest “farcical” vote, while Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina ordered security forces
to stop the killing of innocent people at “any cost”.
Yesterday’s blood-soaked polls were boycotted by the 18-party Opposition alliance led by the BNP. Mrs Hasina’s Awami League secured over three-fourth majority in the polls marred by deadly clashes and a low turnout.
Five persons, including a youth leader of the ruling Awami League, were killed and scores injured across the country today, officials said.
A total of 21 people were killed in election-day violence. Opposition cadres yesterday set over 200 polling stations on fire.
The Opposition enforced a 48-hour general strike today. It enforced the fresh shutdown alongside the ongoing indefinite blockade of rail, roads and waterways.
Meanwhile, Mrs Hasina said she has ordered police and army to take stern action to stop violence.
“At any cost, lives and properties of people have to be saved, peace ensured and post-polls violence stopped,” Mrs Hasina told a Press conference.
If the BNP comes forward to discuss with us about its demands, it has to shun violence as its anti-government protest is “absolutely killing people, killing police, killing innocent people”, she said.
She also urged the international community for assistance in continuing the democratic process in Bangladesh.
Besides, the prime minister announced zero tolerance for terrorism and religious fundamentalism.
“Trial for war crimes will go on and verdicts of the trial will be executed.”
The Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) led by former prime minister Khaleda Zia boycotted the polls after her arch-rival Mrs Hasina rejected the Opposition’s demand for a neutral caretaker regime for election oversight.
The Opposition had demanded delay of the polls.
Political violence during strikes enforced by the Opposition since November have left over 160 people dead.
Last month, Mrs Hasina had said that she would be willing to dissolve the new parliament and hold fresh elections if the BNP gives up violence and cuts its ties with the fundamentalist Jamaat-e-Islami.