BNP Senior Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi has said the democracy of Bangladesh is now dead and attributed the demise to the Awami League. "Pro-democracy people in the country are now the target of Sheikh Hasina's bullet as they are shedding blood as soon as they demand fair elections," he said in a virtual press briefing on Friday (17 November). 

The government has employed all its forces for a one-sided election, he alleged, referring to the election schedule announced by the Election Commission.

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The BNP leader said the Awami League is "organising various disasters [upcoming election] to bid farewell to free, fair, participatory and credible elections."

"By selling the sovereignty, the government has received the guarantee of staying in power," he said.

"Awami fascism has now emerged into totalitarian form by suppressing the people," Rizvi said, adding that the basic human rights situation in the country is at an alarming level. 

He claimed that Awami League activists on Thursday morning beat to death Md Mozahar Molla, 65, the father of Chhatra Dal leader Zahidul Islam, in Pabna.

Besides, Dhaka North Chhatra Dal leader Kamrul Hasan was denied parole to attend his father's funeral, he claimed.

Rizvi said that in the last 24 hours, a total of 395 BNP men and its allied parties were arrested across the country. A total of eight cases were registered and the total number of accused was over 1,065 during this period.

Meanwhile, The BNP have called a 48-hour hartal beginning tomorrow to protest the announcement of the schedule for the upcoming national election.

The 12th Jatiya Sangsad election will be held on 7 January, the Election Commission announced on Wednesday amid staunch objections from the opposition parties, including the BNP .

According to the opposition party, around 13,000 BNP leaders and workers have been arrested across the country following a mass rally held by the BNP in the capital on 28 October. Some 14 leaders and activists, including a journalist, have reportedly been killed in violence.