At least three persons were killed and nearly 50 injured in clashes Monday as violence returned to Bangladeshi streets during a 60-hour nationwide strike called by opposition parties demanding a neutral caretaker government to oversee the next general elections.
Supporters of the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and its rightwing ally Jamaat-e-Islami hurled bricks at vehicles and exploded crude bombs in the capital city Dhaka as the strike got under way early Monday morning.
Incidents of clashes and arson were reported from other parts of the country,including Natore,Rajshahi,Comilla and Bogra.
Authorities deployed thousands of additional police and paramilitary officers countrywide to prevent any untoward incident during the second 60-hour strike called by the BNP with a week.
A member of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal,BNPs student wing,was killed when police opened fire on clashing cadres of the ruling Awami League and strike supporters in Lalmonirhat. The incident injured 39 people,including 15 policemen.
Demonstrators stabbed a youth leader of the Awami League in Comilla while a worker died of injuries sustained when protesters hurled bricks at a truck carrying labourers in Natore district.
The BNP-led 18-party opposition alliance enforced the shutdown from 6 am demanding a non-party government to oversee the next parliamentary election.
Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) personnel joined riot police in patrolling city streets with water cannons and armoured carriers as the strike forced the suspension of nationwide secondary and higher secondary examinations,kept most private cars off the roads and big shopping malls shuttered.
Since October 25,22 people have died in violence linked to political turmoil.
The BNP said it was ready for a dialogue at any time if it is held without any condition on a non-party government by amending the constitution while Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina insisted on the formation of an all-party government for election oversight.