Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said opposition leader Khaleda Zia could be tried for ordering the killings during the political unrest as authorities announced a bounty on people involved in street violence that has claimed 30 lives.
"It will be logical to bring her (Zia) under the purview of law…for giving order of the killings," Hasina told parliament last night.
"Law-enforcing agencies are examining the possibility of putting her (Zia) on trial… law will take its own course and it is up to agencies enforcing the law to check this out and take necessary action. I will leave it at that."
The premier’s comments came as law enforcement agencies detained 2,500 suspected anarchists in 24 hours until late night and announced Taka 100,000 (USD 1,286) bounty on each person involved in violence.
"Attackers are killing people in the name of political programmes…the government has decided to stop it at any cost," Industries Minister Amir Hossain Amu said.
The violence sparked by the non-stop nationwide blockade enforced by 69-year-old Zia’s Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) since January 6 has claimed at least 30 lives so far.
Officials said over 7,000 activists of the BNP and its ally fundamentalist Jamaat-e-Islami have been arrested since the start of deadly protests earlier this month, marking the first anniversary last year’s controversial polls won by Zia’s arch-rival Prime Minister Hasina.
The unrest began after police after police confined Zia, a former two-time premier, to her Gulshan office here ahead of the anniversary.
The 17-day house arrest of Zia was lifted on January 19, but the defiant former premier vowed to continue nationwide blockade.