Polling stations torched in Bangladesh day before election

January 7, 2024 8:32 am

[Source: BBC]

At least 14 polling stations in Bangladesh have been set on fire, including one on the outskirts of the capital, Dhaka.

The wave of attacks comes a day before the country goes to the polls.

On Friday, a busy commuter train was allegedly set on fire, killing four passengers.

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Most opposition parties are boycotting the election, in which Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is set to win a fourth consecutive term.

Police say a prominent opposition politician, Nabiullah Nabi of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), and six other party activists have been arrested on suspicion of involvement in Friday’s fire on a commuter train in central Dhaka.

Samanta Lal Sen, a senior official at the Dhaka hospital, says eight people have been critically injured.

Local media say a Buddhist temple in the south-eastern city of Chittagong has been torched, and the Election Commission says a local party office of the ruling Awami League has been attacked.

The BNP has asked voters to boycott the poll and called a two-day strike across the country.

The ruling Awami League has accused the BNP of trying to disrupt the election by unleashing a “reign of terror on innocent people.”

On Friday, the UN Special Rapporteur, Clément Nyaletsossi Voule, said he was “deeply disturbed” by the repressive environment surrounding the polls.