Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Bangladesh's ex-dictator threatens suicide

05 December 2013, 13:13

Dhaka - Bangladesh's former military dictator Hussain Muhammad Ershad threatened to kill himself Thursday after security forces besieged his home following his decision to boycott next month's elections.

"I have loaded four pistols and I've told the government that if they play any tricks with me, I will kill myself," Ershad told a local television crew during an interview inside his home in the early hours.

"I will die before the RAB (Rapid Action Battalion) or the police can lay a finger on me," he said, before making a trigger-pulling gesture towards his head.

The 83-year-old said Tuesday that he would not take part in the January 5 polls, further undermining the credibility of a contest which is also being boycotted by the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and its allies.

Large numbers of security forces then gathered on Wednesday outside his home in the upmarket Baridhara neighbourhood of the capital Dhaka, fuelling predictions the general was about to be arrested.

However Deputy Commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police Lutful Kabir told AFP that officers were deployed in the neighbourhood "to enhance security" around foreign embassies in Baridhara.

Ershad's secretary Khaled Akhter said RAB and plainclothes officers were still massed outside the general's home on Thursday morning, although the numbers had thinned slightly.

Despite the boycotts by Ershad's Jatiya party and the BNP, as well as widespread political violence, the ruling Awami League is so far insisting the elections will go ahead as scheduled on January 5.

However there is strong pressure from key foreign players, including from the United States, for a compromise between the parties which could lead to the polls being pushed back.

The BNP and its smaller Islamist allies have demanded that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina quit and make way for a neutral caretaker government which would oversee the polls to prevent cheating.

As part of its push to force Hasina to stand aside, the opposition has enforced a series of strikes and transport blockades since late October.

There have been widespread clashes between police and opposition supporters, which have claimed the lives of at least 67 people in the last six weeks.



Tags power

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
EACC officers raid Deputy Governo...

EACC officers raided the home of a Deputy Governor as theft case continues in court. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
New IEBC bosses to be named Novem...

New IEBC bosses will be named on November 30. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
DP Ruto has spoilt my name, activ...

DP William Ruto has spoilt my name, activist complains. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
Apologise for attack on Auditor G...

Apologise for attack on Auditor General, President Uhuru Kenyatta is told by Kisumu Senator Anyang Nyong'o. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
Quit if you can't fight corruptio...

An MP has told President Uhuru Kenyatta to quit office if he cannot fight corruption. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
Investigate Uhuru, Ruto for corru...

Investigate President Uhuru Kenyatta and DP William Ruto's offices over corruption, CORD leader Raila Odinga has said. Read more...