Jan 8, 2014, 1:51 AM
News Code: 80984886
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5 killed in post-poll violence in Bangladesh, toll reaches 31

New Delhi, Jan 8, IRNA -- At least five persons were killed in Bangladesh Tuesday in post-poll clashes amidst a police crackdown against senior members of the opposition party for instigating violence that has resulted in 31 deaths, making it the bloodiest vote in the country's history.

Three persons were killed and 10 hurt in a clash between Awami League and Jatiya Party activists today. A Jamaat-e-Islami activist injured in yesterday's clashes, died in Dinajpur today, while a leader of the youth wing of Awami League succumbed to his injuries in Noakhali.

Sunday's polls were boycotted by the 18-party opposition alliance led by the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP). Premier Sheikh Hasina's Awami League secured over three-fourth majority in the polls marred by deadly clashes and a low turnout, pti reported. A total of 21 people were killed in election-day violence with opposition cadres setting over 200 polling stations on fire.

The opposition has called for a 48-hour general strike starting yesterday, enforcing a fresh shutdown across the country, alongside the ongoing indefinite blockade of rail, roads and waterways.

Meanwhile, seven BNP leaders, including opposition chief whip Zainul Abdin Farroque and BNP chairperson's adviser Khandaker Mahbub Hossain were arrested today in a sudden crackdown in the capital.

The BNP, led by former prime minister Khaleda Zia, boycotted the polls after her arch-rival Hasina rejected the opposition's demand for a neutral caretaker regime for election oversight.

The opposition had demanded postponement of the polls.

Political violence during strikes enforced by the opposition since November have left over 160 people dead.

Hasina has asserted that her re-election in the much-disputed polls was legitimate and appealed to her arch-rival, Zia, to shun 'terrorism' and severe ties with the fundamentalist Jamaat to strike a deal on the next elections.

Hasina's Awami League won 104 of the 147 seats for which polling was held yesterday. Having won 127 seats uncontested, the party now has 231 seats, giving it a clear three-fourth majority in the 10th parliament.

Zia has been confined to her home for last two weeks.