An editorial in the Daily Star said that the "alarming rise in human rights violations that the year 2013 saw was to a large extent traceable to violence of political nature".

"The worst aspect of it all was that not only activists of ruling and opposition parties, but women, children and even minority communities also fell victims to political violence,” the editorial said.

General elections in Bangladesh are scheduled for Sunday.

According to an estimate, the "death figure from such violence was 507", said the daily.

"The other statistics are appalling. Instances of political violence alone stood at 848. Secret killings numbered 53, while extra-judicial killing took 72 lives. Three journalists died and 280 got hurt. In attacks on minority community 278 houses were damaged, while 475 temples, other places of worship and idols were ransacked,” the daily said.

The editorial called it a "sad irony" that it was the country's first ever attempt to try the perpetrators of gross human rights violations in 1971 that triggered the spate of political violence last year and its attendant incidents of fresh violations.

The International Crimes Tribunal's verdict on Jamaat leader Delwar Hossain Sayedee in February was followed by unprecedented violence by activists of Jamaat and its student wing Shibir.

In”toxic fallout", the daily said that violence took the most pernicious turn with scores including men, women, children becoming victims of arson attacks, bomb blasts and police firing.

(Agencies)

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