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At least two people died and dozens were injured in Bangladesh on Tuesday, following clashes between anti-government protesters and police on the first day of a three-day demonstration calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina ahead of next year’s election, Reuters reported.
The protests began after the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) called for blockades of roads in response to skirmishes between party supporters and authorities over the weekend.
Sunday’s incident killed one policeman and injured more than 100 people.
BNP officials repeated their calls for Hasina to resign to allow elections scheduled for January to be held under a neutral caretaker government. The government has rejected those demands.
Following Tuesday’s fatalities, opposition politicians accused Hasina of allowing police to kill demonstrators “to stop the movement to restore democracy.”
Hasina first came to power in 2009 and her governance has been marked by years of strong economic growth in the South Asian country. But the government has been accused of human rights violations, cracking down on free speech and jailing its critics.
It has also been accused of vote-rigging and suppressing opposition parties in the 2014 and 2018 elections.
While the government denies the allegations, it has faced pressure from Western nations to hold free and fair polls.
The United States has warned Bangladesh that it will restrict visas for Bangladeshis who undermine the democratic process.