Steel helmeted riot police patrolled the streets of the capital today as a dusk-to-dawn general strike called by opposition groups to protest the government’s decision to change electoral system paralysed Bangladesh.
The strike was called after Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s Awami League party announced plans last week to scrap the country’s electoral system under which a caretaker government takes over during election time.
At least 11 vehicles were set on fire overnight just hours before Khaleda Zia’s Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) enforced its strike. Witnesses and television reports said that dozens of BNP activists were arrested from the capital and others parts of the country.
Police said they detained several pickets as they tried to create panic to enforce to their stoppage. Vehicle remained off the road, giving the otherwise congested Dhaka streets a barren look. The strike also forced the closure of major shopping malls, big businesses and schools, disrupting normal life in the capital.
The BNP and its right wing ally Jamaat e Islami said the decision of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s ruling Awami League to scrap the non-party interim caretaker government was part of their plan to cling to power.
Full Article: Individual.com.