A gathering of supporters of the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) was forcefully dispersed by police in the Naya Paltan district of the capital Dhaka around midday (local time) on Wednesday, November 14. Subsequent clashes broke out between protesters and security forces, who fired rubber bullets and tear gas, leaving several people injured. Police vehicles were set on fire and traffic was temporarily halted.
BNP supporters had gathered outside of the party’s offices as candidacy forms were being distributed ahead of the upcoming December 30 parliamentary elections. Further such disruptive protests can be expected in the run-up to the election amid high tensions.
Despite a request from opposition parties, the government announced it would refuse to appoint a neutral caretaker government to oversee the elections. Opposition parties are anticipated to hold political rallies in the coming weeks. A heightened security presence and associated transportation disruptions are to be expected in the vicinity of any demonstration; clashes between security forces and protesters cannot be ruled out.
Individuals present in Bangladesh are advised to avoid all public gatherings and demonstrations due to the risk of violence and adhere to any instructions issued by local authorities.
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