Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina's comments came as violence broke out across the nation after Khaleda Zia called her supporters to take to the streets. (Agence France-Presse)
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today accused opposition leader Khaleda Zia of trying to create anarchy after her arch rival called for nationwide protests in an effort to topple the government.
"I am urging the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) leader to stop these bomb and grenade attacks, these acts of sabotage, and killings, of arson and damage to property," Hasina said in a speech to the nation, exactly a year after she was re-elected in polls boycotted by Zia's BNP.
"The path you are following will not bring any benefit for the people. Instead you will lose public faith and confidence," she said, accusing Zia's Islamist allied 20-party opposition alliance of trying to create "anarchy and instability" in the volatile country.
"We want to come out of the vicious circle of unhealthy politics," she said and added that the opposition had made a "political blunder" by boycotting the polls. "Why should the people pay for that mistake?"
Her comments came as violence broke out across the nation after Zia called her supporters to take to the streets in their thousands and force Hasina to accept a new polls under a neutral caretaker government.
Police said at least four protesters were shot dead in clashes with the security forces and the ruling party.