The level of blockade of BNP is increasing to prevent elections: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

After failing to garner political support and popularity, the BNP and a number of its allies have stepped up their efforts to block the upcoming elections. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs made this complaint in multiple posts on their Facebook page today.

As Bangladesh enters the highly participatory and highly contested national election festival scheduled for January 7, the nation continues to witness increasing efforts by vested interests to derail Bangladesh’s democratic processes, the Foreign Ministry post said. After failing to garner political support, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and a section of its allies have stepped up their efforts to implement a blockade aimed at creating significant obstacles to the upcoming elections. Due to this strategic move of BNP, incidents of vandalism and arson have increased alarmingly across the country.

The Ministry of External Affairs says their supporters have indulged in these destructive activities to create panic and put undue pressure on the government to accept their controversial demands. A glaring example of this violence occurred on December 13, when BNP-Jamaat workers deliberately removed a 20-foot section of railway track. As a result the Mohanganj Express train bound for Dhaka derailed. One person was killed and more than 50 passengers were injured in the accident that happened around 4 am.

The incident was the result of a 36-hour blockade called by the BNP. The incident is an example of how dangerous these groups can go to disrupt national stability.

On December 19, vandals set fire to three compartments of Mohanganj Express in Tejgaon railway station area of Dhaka, killing at least four passengers, including a woman and her three-year-old son. The activities of the BNP-Jamaat alliance extend beyond political unrest; They have caused massive damage to citizens’ bodies and government property. Police and district administration officials have unearthed evidence of gangs’ involvement in the incident, including gas cylinders used to cut railway tracks.

According to the Facebook post of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, these types of attacks targeting trains are not new. The BNP-Jamaat alliance was involved in similar acts of violence between 2013 and 2015, including the torching of nearly 4,000 vehicles and several train fires. The recent resurgence of such tactics indicates a return to destructive methods.

After the BNP’s anti-government rally on October 28, nearly 400 cars were burnt across the country. Their hartal-blockade strategy ahead of elections is a worrying repeat of past activities. The BNP-Jamaat alliance has not only caused physical and property damage to achieve political objectives, but has also attacked essential services including police hospitals, ambulances.

The local administration, police and fire service responded quickly to the derailment of the Mohanganj Express. Two suspects involved in the sabotage have been arrested. Investigation revealed that the act was pre-planned and meetings were held to plan the heinous act. This sabotage is a direct attack on the state and the people, aimed at disrupting the next elections and progress of the nation.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, as the elections approach, the government and people of Bangladesh are taking a firm stand against terrorism and such violence. Despite these challenges, they are determined to maintain peace and continue the socio-economic development of the country.

According to the prothomalo

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