THE 71-hour countrywide blockade of road, rail and waterways, called and enforced by the Bangladesh Nationalist Party-led opposition alliance, claimed at least 22 lives amidst widespread explosions of crude bombs, arson attack on public transports, clashes between pro-government and pro-opposition activists and law enforcers. On the first day of the ongoing 72-hour blockade of road, rail and waterways by the opposition, at least four persons lost their lives. The death toll is likely to rise as reports of violence and vandalism pour in from different corners of the country.
With the government continuing with the arrests of key opposition leaders, it would be hardly surprising if the ongoing blockade is either extended by a day or two or followed by back-to-back hartals (general strikes). Whatever programme that the opposition chooses to call, there is hardly any doubt that it would be enforced through violence, which means more people could lose their life or limb. There is hardly any point in asking when the turbulence will end, simply because no one seems to have any answer to the question. As the government and the opposition are apparently convinced that their respective political strategies are working, it would also be unrealistic to expect a dialogue towards resolution of the ongoing impasse between the two sides.
That could only mean that people may be the least of the priorities for either the government or the opposition and that the little boy who had come to see for the first time in his life only to find himself trapped in a burning vehicle and later succumbed to serious burn injuries and many others who died over the past few days and weeks in political violence were expendables.
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