Tragedy struck on the eve of Bangladesh's general election as a passenger train, the Benapole Express, suffered a suspected arson attack, claiming at least four lives, including that of a child.
As per reports by The Hindu, the incident occurred at 9 p.m. on Friday, January 6, 2024, with fire spreading to four compartments of the Dhaka-bound train.
The main opposition party, Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), which is boycotting the election, deems it a ploy by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's Awami League to manipulate the vote.
The ongoing protests in Dhaka, which have resulted in at least 10 deaths, further escalate tensions between the two political factions.
This recent train fire follows another incident last month when protesters set a train ablaze during a nationwide strike organized by the opposition.
BNP officials, including Ruhul Kabir Rizvi, label the train incident an "act of sabotage and cruelty against humanity," blaming the ruling party.
Authorities are investigating the incident, with suspicions of deliberate arson.
In response to the accident, BNP has called for a two-day strike in protest, urging citizens to boycott the election.
Meanwhile, Security measures are heightened with around 800,000 security personnel deployed to polling booths for the election, as the country braces for potential unrest.
Nayan Dwivedi is Staff Writer at Swarajya.
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