Violence erupted in Dhaka as Bangladesh’s principal opposition party, BNP, held a protest demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and free and fair elections, resulting in one police officer’s tragic death and over 100 civilians and 40 uniformed personnel sustaining injuries. BNP had initially planned a peaceful rally on October 28, which was permitted to take place in front of their central office at Nayapaltan.
Despite initial cooperation between the government and law enforcement agencies, BNP supporters failed to maintain peace during the demonstration, leading to widespread disorder and public disturbances. The situation escalated when BNP supporters targeted the Chief Justice of Bangladesh’s residence, resulting in attacks on the Chief Justice’s house, Judges Quarters, Police Box, public transportation, and various government properties, including hospitals.
Bangladesh’s Home Minister, Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal, pointed to video evidence implicating a BNP student leader in the police officer’s death. The assault on the Chief Justice’s residence was described as an unprecedented incident, with a vow to take strict action against those responsible.
Notably, the Home Ministry upheld its position that the country’s constitution does not provide for a caretaker government, despite protests.
As Bangladesh’s upcoming elections are scheduled for early January 2024, tensions between the BNP and the ruling party, Awami League, are expected to intensify. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s return from Brussels triggered widespread protests across Dhaka upon her arrival at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport on Friday.