Bangladesh set for yet another shutdown, BNP leaders arrested

Police arrested at least five senior leaders of the BNP, also raided the homes of other leaders.

Bangladesh set for yet another shutdown, BNP leaders arrested

World Bulletin/News Desk

The opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) on Saturday announced another 84-hour nationwide strike, starting on Sunday, after police arrested BNP leaders, triggering violent protests across the country.

The aim of the strike is to force the ruling Awami League to hold elections, due by January at the latest, under a non-partisan caretaker government.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has repeatedly refused. Instead, she has offered the formation of an all-party government to see through the elections with her staying in charge.

The deadlock, nothing new in Bangladesh, has led to the deaths of at least 18 people during several violent protests and shutdowns.

The mounting tension is a fresh threat to Bangladesh's $22 billion garment export industry, the economic lifeblood of the impoverished country of 160 million, which has already been rocked by a string of deadly factory accidents this year.

"To protest the arrests of our senior leaders, we were forced to extend the shutdown by another 12 hours to 84 hours", said Ruhul Kabir Rizvi, Joint Secretary General of the BNP.

Police early on Saturday arrested at least five senior leaders of the BNP including opposition leader Begum Khaleda Zia's adviser and a special assistant. Police also raided the homes of other leaders.

"They were arrested on specific allegations as they were instigating attacks on people and their properties," said Shamsul Haqu Tuku, junior minister for home affairs.

After the arrests, pro-BNP activists went on the rampage, torching vehicles and blocking the Dhaka-Chittagong highway.

Bangladesh has also been hit by a wave of demonstrations over war crimes convictions dating back to the war of independence from Pakistan in 1971, with more than 100 people killed in protests and counter-protests this year.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 09 Kasım 2013, 17:53
AL-HILAL - 10 yıl Önce

AFTER ARRESTING THE BNP’S SIX TOP LEADERS BEGUM KHALEDA IS BEING INTIMIDATED TO SURRENDER BY DEPLOYING RAB, POLICE & STUDENT LEAGUE ARMED THUGS ALL AROUND HER RESIDENCE & OFFICE.. This undemocratic, panicky act would do more harm to the ruling party. Do not they realise this? They might disconnect services of utility including water supply to Begum Khaleda's residence & office leaving her two option (1) Either obey our order & take part in election, else (2) go to Pakistan as the prime minister told you time and time again. Information minister already said, "It was a criminal act to try to save the war criminals and for so doing Khaleda could be put in jail and tried for treason".. Mr Hanif repeated the same threat. It is the abuse of power and therefore a criminal offence no civilized country will tolerate..