SHAFAQNA – The clashes erupted on Wednesday as the BNP party chief and former premier, Khaleda Zia, appeared in a court in connection with two graft cases.
According to Press TV, at least 22 people have been wounded during clashes between Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) activists and government supporters in the capital city of Dhaka.
Police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at the protesters, who inflicted damage on shops and vehicles and engaged in arson and stone-throwing.
Several bomb blasts were also heard during the skirmishes. However, no casualties have been reported.
Reports said the clashes erupted after activists of Chhatra League, the student wing of the ruling Bangladesh Awami League party, purportedly attacked a BNP procession before Zia’s arrival at the court.
Thousands of BNP members had assembled in the court’s surrounding areas since the morning to welcome Khaleda Zia.
According to one of the cases which was filed in July 2008 by Bangladesh’s Anti-Corruption Commission, Zia and five others, including her elder son, Tarique Rahman, had embezzled more than 20 million taka (about USD 253,000) from an orphanage trust during her 2001-2006 term as prime minister.
In 2011, the BNP chief and three others were sued for siphoning off 31.5 million taka (about USD 400,000) from a charitable trust named after her late husband, Ziaur Rahman, a former president who was assassinated in 1981.