This appalling image appears to show the moment supporters of the ruling Bangladesh party beat a lawyer and supporter of the main opposition during a protest.

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Security forces and opposition activists clashed in Bangladesh's capital on Sunday, leaving at least two people dead, as thousands of police took to the streets to foil a mass rally calling on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to cancel upcoming elections.

In a sign of the growing sense of crisis, the government closed most forms of transportation into the capital, arrested hundreds and barred the main opposition alliance from holding a protest rally.

bangladesh

The opposition is demanding that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina steps down and a neutral government is installed before the election.

The government has rejected the demand, saying the elections are a constitutional necessity.

The opposition fears the government will rig the polls if it remains in power.

As part of a nationwide crackdown, police fired water cannon and rubber bullets at protesters who threw stones and homemade bombs, according to reports.

bangladesh

The leader of the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), Khaleda Zia, had called for a march on the capital, Dhaka, in defiance of a police ban, to protest against what she calls the "farcical" election.

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Bangladesh's former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia

But police surrounded her home on Sunday in an apparent bid to stop her from addressing the demonstration. They deny holding her under virtual house arrest.

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  • Supporter of the ruling Bangladesh Awami League chase supporters of the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) during a protest by opposition activists in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013. Security forces and opposition activists clashed in Bangladesh's capital on Sunday, leaving at least one person dead, as thousands of police took to the streets to foil a mass rally calling on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to cancel upcoming elections. (AP Photo/A.M. Ahad)

  • A pro-government supporter throws brick and stones against supporters of main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013. More than 150 people have died in political violence in Bangladesh since the crisis intensified in October. The conflict pits an opposition alliance led by former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia's opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party against Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who accuses Zia of protecting people being tried or convicted of war crimes involving the nation's 1971 independence war against Pakistan.(AP Photo/A.M. Ahad)

  • Supporters of the ruling Bangladesh Awami League help a man injured during clashes with the supporters of main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013. More than 150 people have died in political violence in Bangladesh since the crisis intensified in October. The conflict pits an opposition alliance led by former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia’s opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party against Awami League leader and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who accuses Zia of protecting people being tried or convicted of war crimes involving the nation's 1971 independence war against Pakistan. (AP Photo/A.M. Ahad)

  • Supporters of the ruling Bangladesh Awami League throw bricks and stones during a clash with the supporters of main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013. More than 150 people have died in political violence in Bangladesh since the crisis intensified in October. The conflict pits an opposition alliance led by former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia’s opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party against Awami League leader and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who accuses Zia of protecting people being tried or convicted of war crimes involving the nation's 1971 independence war against Pakistan. (AP Photo/A.M. Ahad)

  • A Bangladeshi lawyer and supporter of main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) holds on to the legs of a supporter of ruling Bangladesh Awami League as they try to beat her during clashes between them in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013. More than 150 people have died in political violence in Bangladesh since the crisis intensified in October. The conflict pits an opposition alliance led by former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia’s opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party against Awami League leader and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who accuses Zia of protecting people being tried or convicted of war crimes involving the nation's 1971 independence war against Pakistan. (AP Photo/A.M. Ahad)

  • Supporters of the ruling Bangladesh Awami League beat a lawyer and supporter of the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) during a protest by opposition activists in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013. Security forces and opposition activists clashed in Bangladesh's capital on Sunday, leaving at least one person dead, as thousands of police took to the streets to foil a mass rally calling on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to cancel upcoming elections. (AP Photo/A.M. Ahad)

  • BANGLADESH-UNREST-POLITICS-VOTE

    Bangladeshi police use water cannon to disperse Bangladesh Nationalist Party supporters during a protest in Dhaka on December 29, 2013. Opposition leader Khaleda Zia has said that the government is illegal, undemocratic and should step down immediately. AFP PHOTO/Munir uz ZAMAN (Photo credit should read MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/Getty Images)

  • BANGLADESH-UNREST-POLITICS-VOTE

    Bangladeshi police use water cannon to disperse Bangladesh Nationalist Party supporters during a protest in Dhaka on December 29, 2013. Opposition leader Khaleda Zia has said that the government is illegal, undemocratic and should step down immediately. AFP PHOTO/Munir uz ZAMAN (Photo credit should read MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/Getty Images)

  • BANGLADESH-UNREST-ELECTION

    Bangladeshi police detain a suspected activist of Hizb-ut-Tahrir, a banned Islamist militant organisation in Dhaka on December 27, 2013, as Hizb-ut Tahrir supporters attempted a demonstration march following Friday prayers. At least 25 supporters of the banned organisation were detained by police. AFP PHOTO/Munir uz ZAMAN (Photo credit should read MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/Getty Images)

  • BANGLADESH-UNREST-POLITICS-VOTE

    Bangladeshi police use water cannon to disperse Bangladesh Nationalist Party supporters during a protest in Dhaka on December 29, 2013. Opposition leader Khaleda Zia has said that the government is illegal, undemocratic and should step down immediately. AFP PHOTO/Munir uz ZAMAN (Photo credit should read MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/Getty Images)

  • BANGLADESH-UNREST-POLITICS-VOTE

    Supporters from the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party shout slogans during a protest in Dhaka on December 29, 2013. Opposition leader Khaleda Zia has said that the government is illegal, undemocratic and should step down immediately. AFP PHOTO/Munir uz ZAMAN (Photo credit should read MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/Getty Images)

  • BANGLADESH-UNREST-POLITICS-VOTE

    Bangladeshi police stand guard in front of the house of main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) leader Khaleda Zia in Dhaka on December 29, 2013. Opposition leader Khaleda Zia has said that the government is illegal, undemocratic and should step down immediately. AFP PHOTO/Munir uz ZAMAN (Photo credit should read MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/Getty Images)

  • BANGLADESH-UNREST-ELECTION-POLITICS

    Bangladeshi police stand guard in front of the residence of main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) leader Khaleda Zia in Dhaka on December 30, 2013. Bangladesh's capital was effectively cut off from the rest of the country December 30 with transport services into Dhaka halted in a bid to thwart the second day of a march against next week's elections. AFP PHOTO/ Munir uz ZAMAN (Photo credit should read MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/Getty Images)

  • BANGLADESH-UNREST-ELECTION-POLITICS

    A Bangladeshi policeman looks through the window of a paddywagon carrying detained opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) activists in Dhaka on December 30, 2013. Bangladesh's capital was effectively cut off from the rest of the country December 30 with transport services into Dhaka halted in a bid to thwart the second day of a march against next week's elections. AFP PHOTO/ Munir uz ZAMAN (Photo credit should read MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/Getty Images)

  • BANGLADESH-UNREST-ELECTION-POLITICS

    Ruling Bangladesh Awami League supporters stage a protest after clashes with Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) lawyers in Dhaka on December 30, 2013. Bangladesh's capital was effectively cut off from the rest of the country December 30 with transport services into Dhaka halted in a bid to thwart the second day of a march against next week's elections. AFP PHOTO/ Munir uz ZAMAN (Photo credit should read MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/Getty Images)

  • A supporter of the ruling Bangladesh Awami League sets a fire on a motorbike during a clash with the supporters of main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013. More than 150 people have died in political violence in Bangladesh since the crisis intensified in October. The conflict pits an opposition alliance led by former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia’s opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party against Awami League leader and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who accuses Zia of protecting people being tried or convicted of war crimes involving the nation's 1971 independence war against Pakistan. (AP Photo/A.M. Ahad)

  • Khaleda Zia

    Bangladesh's former Prime Minister and main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) leader Khaleda Zia gestures as she walks out of her home in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013. Security forces and opposition activists clashed in Bangladesh's capital on Sunday, leaving at least one person dead, as thousands of police took to the streets to foil a mass rally calling on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to cancel upcoming elections. (AP Photo/Khurshed Rinku)

  • Bangladeshi police stand guard in front of the house of former Prime Minister and main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) leader Khaleda Zia in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013. Security forces and opposition activists clashed in Bangladesh's capital on Sunday, leaving at least one person dead, as thousands of police took to the streets to foil a mass rally calling on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to cancel upcoming elections. (AP Photo/A.M. Ahad)

  • Opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) lawmakers are shot water cannon by police during a protest in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013. Security forces and opposition activists clashed in Bangladesh's capital on Sunday, leaving at least one person dead, as thousands of police took to the streets to foil a mass rally calling on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to cancel upcoming elections. (AP Photo/A.M. Ahad)

  • Bangladeshi police detain activists of the banned Islamic group Hizb-ut Tahrir on a street in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Friday, Dec. 27, 2013. At least 25 supporters of the group were detained after a clash with policemen during a protest against general elections set for Jan. 5, 2014, local media reported. (AP Photo/A.M. Ahad)

  • Opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) lawmakers are shot water cannon by police during a protest in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013. Security forces and opposition activists clashed in Bangladesh's capital on Sunday, leaving at least one person dead, as thousands of police took to the streets to foil a mass rally calling on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to cancel upcoming elections. (AP Photo/A.M. Ahad)

  • Bangladeshi police use water cannon to disperse main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) lawmakers during a protest in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013. Security forces and opposition activists clashed in Bangladesh's capital on Sunday, leaving at least one person dead, as thousands of police took to the streets to foil a mass rally calling on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to cancel upcoming elections. (AP Photo/A.M. Ahad)

  • Bangladeshi policemen detain an activist of the banned Islamic group Hizb-ut Tahrir on a street in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Friday, Dec. 27, 2013. At least 25 supporters of the group were detained after a clash with policemen during a protest against general elections set for Jan. 5, 2014, local media reported. (AP Photo/A.M. Ahad)

  • Bangladeshi army soldiers carry belongings as they arrive at a temporary camp in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Thursday, Dec. 26, 2013. Authorities in Bangladesh began deploying military soldiers on Thursday to help civil administrators hold national elections on Jan. 5 that the opposition is boycotting. (AP Photo/A.M. Ahad)