Crush­ing a Coup

Southasia - - REGULAR FEATURES -

Bangladesh has had a his­tory of po­lit­i­cal up­heavals, coups and counter-coups since gain­ing in­de­pen­dence in 1971. The army as­sas­si­nated Sheikh Mu­jibur Rah­man, the coun­try’s first pres­i­dent, in 1975. Con­se­quently, a mil­i­tary dic­ta­tor ruled Bangladesh from 1982 to 1990. While democ­racy was re­stored in 1991, street bat­tles be­tween sup­port­ers of Hasina and her arch po­lit­i­cal ri­val, Khaleda Zia, prompted the army to step in again in Jan­uary 2007.

A coup, planned abroad with the help of 16 serv­ing and for­mer mil­i­tary of­fi­cials that aimed to over­throw Sheikh Hasina’s gov­ern­ment, was re­cently un­cov­ered by Bangladeshi in­tel­li­gence and crushed with the help of se­nior Army gen­er­als. It is be­lieved that those in­volved planned to in­tro­duce a strict in­ter­pre­ta­tion of Shariah Law through­out the coun­try. Hasina has gained con­sid­er­able op­po­si­tion from hard­line Is­lamist fac­tions both within and out­side army ranks due her propo­si­tion to make the

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