Over 100 people were injured in clashes across Bangladesh as the 60-hour nationwide opposition strike demanding a neutral caretaker government to oversee the next general elections entered its second day today.
Sixty-five people were injured as opposition activists clashed with police and ruling Awami Legaue (AL) supporters in Munshiganj,Chittagong and Bogra.
A clash between AL supporters and the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) left at least 50 people injured in Chandpur.
Meanwhile,10 people were injured when BNP activists attacked a train in northwestern Bogra,forcing police to use batons,teargas and rubber bullets to disperse the mob.
In a separate incident,a train driver was injured when he was hit by a stone lobbed by protesters in Kurigram.
In capital Dhaka,protesters exploded nine crude bombs at Karwan Bazar area where offices of most private TV channels are located.
This is the second 60-hour shutdown called by the BNP and its allies to push their demand for a neutral caretaker set-up. A total of 26 people have died in political violence
since last month,including four killed in different parts of
the country on Monday.
Two of the victims were ordinary people-a truck driver and a factory worker-while the other two were reported to be opposition activists.
The opposition enforced the strike defying a government request to postpone it to allow students to appear in the examinations and accept the offer for dialogue to devise ways to settle dispute over the electoral system.
Yesterday,BNP said that it would not go to elections under the proposed “all party government” while Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said the interim all-party government was expected to be formed in next weeks.
“The existing cabinet members will resign first to pave ways for constituting the all-party government in next 15 days,” the premier’s spokesman quoted her telling a cabinet meeting late yesterday.
The Election Commissioner,meanwhile,said it planned to announce a schedule for the elections without fixing a definite date as it preferred to wait for the “maximum possible time” allowing the two major parties to settle their disputes over the electoral system.
“But the polls will have to be conducted within January 24,so not much time is available,” chief election commissioner Kazi Rakibuddin said two days ago.