Renewed violence in Bangladesh claims three lives

December 15, 2013 | By | Reply More

Dec 15, Dhaka, Bangladesh — Police in Bangladesh opened fire Sunday to try to stop rampaging activists of an Islamist party who were protesting the execution of one of its leaders, leaving at least three people dead and wounding scores, a doctor said.

Bangladesh: celebration after Abdul Quader Molla executionThe violence took place in Lalmonirhat district in northern Bangladesh as Jamaat-e-Islami party enforced a daylong general strike across the South Asian nation following the execution of Abdul Quader Mollah for war crimes committed during the country’s 1971 indepedence war.

A doctor at a government-run hospital in Lalmonirhat, Praful Kumar, said three men died of bullet wounds after they were taken to the hospital following the clashes. The new violence took place amid growing political tension. At least 24 people have been killed in clashes involving opposition and pro-government activists and police since Thursday, when Mollah was put to death.

His party says the execution was politically motivated. Authorities said he was tried and convicted according to law. Bangladesh says Pakistani soldiers, aided by local collaborators including Mollah, killed at least 3 million people and raped 200,000 women during the nine-month war against Pakistan.

On Sunday, thousands of businessmen lined up the streets of Dhaka, the capital, and other major cities calling for peace and shunning violence. They carried white flags symbolizing reconciliation. Many of their businesses suffered because of a string of general strikes and blockades enforced by the opposition in recent months.

While Jamaat-e-Islami protested the execution, many among the 160 million Bangladeshis have praised Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for trying and executing Mollah. Opposition parties are also protesting the government’s decision to move ahead with Jan. 5 elections. The opposition wants the government to resign and hand over power to an independent caretaker to oversee the vote.

Hasina has vowed to continue the trials of the war crimes suspects and push ahead with the elections despite calls from opposition leader and former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia to resign. Mollah’s party is a key ally of Zia’s Bangladesh Nationalist Party.

Most of those being tried for war crimes are connected to the country’s opposition. Jamaat-e-Islami is barred from taking part in next month’s national elections.

Press journalist for HRO media – Dawar Shah contributed to this report.

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Category: International

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