As the opposition-sponsored 131-hour transport blockade entered its fifth day Wednesday, main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party's (BNP) declared on Thursday at 5.00 pm as the deadline for the government to agree to its demands.

BNP's spokesperson Salauddin Ahmed, in a video message sent to the media Wednesday, said, "I would like to tell the prime minister that there is still time. Suspend schedule for the one-sided elections. Give up the path of confrontation for the sake of the nation.”

The opposition wants Hasina to transfer power to a neutral caretaker government to oversee polls, the practice adopted in previous votes. But Hasina scrapped the arrangement in 2011.The protests are being led by the main opposition BNP and 17 other opposition parties.

Meanwhile, at least three people were killed in the country's Gaibandha district on Wednesday when their train was derailed by opposition activists, reported a news channel citing railway officials.

Three coaches and the engine of the express train came off the tracks, trapping dozens of passengers, police and railway spokesmen said. India has voiced concern over the violence in Bangladesh and called for dialogue to resolve differences among political parties.

Indian Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh on Wednesday met Bangladesh's main political players and said, “India as a fellow democracy hopes that the forthcoming elections will strengthen democratic institutions, practices and processes in Bangladesh".


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