Bangladesh police clashed with stone-throwing opposition party supporters who blocked major roadways in Dhaka to demand the resignation of the prime minister.
The Bangladesh Nationalist Party, BNP has demanded that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina step down and that the next election, scheduled for January 2024, be held under the supervision of a neutral caretaker government, a proposal that her government has rejected.
According to authorities and the media, BNP activists set fire to buses and exploded petrol bombs.
A Dhaka Metropolitan Police official said forces were attacked for no apparent cause meanwhile they were only trying to control traffic flow.
According to the BNP, scores of its followers were injured. At least 20 officers were injured in the skirmishes, according to police.
At least 90 people were arrested, while two senior BNP leaders were taken into police custody and later freed, police said.
The main opposition party, in disarray since its leader Khaleda Zia was jailed in 2018 on graft charges, has held bigger protest rallies in recent months, including one on Friday, drawing tens of thousands of supporters amid anger over the cost of living.
Western governments and rights groups have criticised the government for cracking down on anti- government protests.
In May, the United States said it would restrict visas for Bangladeshis who undermine the democratic process at home.
Concerns arose after allegations of vote manipulation and opposition suppression disrupted elections in 2014 and 2018. The charges have been refuted by Hasina’s government.
Since taking power in 2009, Hasina has been accused of authoritarianism, human rights breaches, cracking down on free expression, and stifling opposition while imprisoning her critics.
Former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia was allowed to stay in Dhaka under a special provision since the COVID-19 epidemic, but she was forbidden from political involvement.