Tens of thousands of supporters of Bangladesh’s main opposition party descended on Dhaka on Saturday to protest Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s rule and call for fresh elections.
Tensions were high in the capital after security forces stormed the headquarters of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) on Tuesday, leaving at least one dead and dozens injured.
Two of the party’s top leaders were arrested on Friday on charges of inciting violence, adding to some 2,000 activists and supporters the party said it had been detained since November 30 to try to prevent the demonstration from taking place.
The opposition staged protests across the country demanding Hasina resign and hold elections under a caretaker government, which she flatly rejected.
A BNP official said some 200,000 people had joined Saturday’s mid-morning demonstration.
Dhaka Metropolitan Police spokesman Faruq Ahmed denied the figures, saying the venue cannot hold more than 30,000 people.
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