BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese Welsh
BBCi CATEGORIES   TV   RADIO   COMMUNICATE   WHERE I LIVE   INDEX    SEARCH 

BBC NEWS
 You are in: World: South Asia
Front Page 
World 
Africa 
Americas 
Asia-Pacific 
Europe 
Middle East 
South Asia 
-------------
From Our Own Correspondent 
-------------
Letter From America 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 


Commonwealth Games 2002

BBC Sport

BBC Weather

SERVICES 
Friday, 13 July, 2001, 22:41 GMT 23:41 UK
Three die in Bangladesh clashes
Soldiers at government house
Thousands of police and soldiers have been deployed
At least three people have been killed in Bangladesh, in clashes between government and opposition activists.

The violence erupted as parliament was dissolved to pave the way for general elections.

The deaths were reported as Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina made her final speech to parliament.

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina
Sheikh Hasina: Five years in power
Police fired tear gas and rubber bullets to quell the violence as an opposition rally ended late on Friday.

Reports said opposition activists tried to destroy an arch with a boat - an election symbol of Sheikh Hasina's Awami League - in the Purana Paltan area of Dhaka.

The opposition is planning another rally on Saturday.

Sheikh Hasina is the first democratically-elected leader in Bangladesh's 30-year history to complete a full term in government.

Caretaker government

Earlier on Friday pro-government and opposition supporters fought each other in several parts of the country, using guns and home-made bombs.

BNP leader Sheikh Khalida Zia
Sheikh Khalida Zia is demanding a caretaker government immediately
Police had been drafted onto the streets of the capital, Dhaka, following calls by the opposition leader Begum Khalida Zia, for demonstrations to celebrate the end to what she called Sheikh Hasina's autocratic rule.

Fresh elections for a new government are due in October, but Begum Khalida has demanded that Bangladeshi President Shahabuddin Ahmed install a caretaker government immediately.

Volatile period

Many Dhaka residents were reported to have stayed indoors fearing violence.

During Sheikh Hasina's tenure the country has veered from one industrial strike to another while parliament - boycotted by the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) - has in effect ceased to function.

Many of the strikes over the past five years were organised by the BNP as part of its campaign to force Sheikh Hasina relinquish power.

Analysts say Bangladesh is now entering a volatile period.

The constitution states that before an election, the prime minister should hand over power to a caretaker administration.

The caretaker government is responsible for ensuring the election is free and fair.

See also:

29 Jun 01 | South Asia
Bangladesh premier sets handover date
19 Jun 01 | South Asia
US condemns Bangladesh violence
17 Jun 01 | South Asia
Bangladesh hunts party office bombers
01 Apr 01 | South Asia
Violence hits Bangladesh
24 May 01 | Country profiles
Country profile: Bangladesh
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more South Asia stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more South Asia stories