Dhaka: Anxieties mounted across Bangladesh over deadly political violence which has left 12 people dead and hundreds injured since Friday.
Five men were reportedly dead and scores, among them policemen too, injured in violence in the capital city Dhaka on the first day of the strike enforced by former prime minister Khaleda Zia’s Bangladesh Nationalist Party and its allies Sunday, Xinhua reported.
Rejecting Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s request for a dialogue, the opposition alliance called the 60-hour shut-down from 6 a.m. Sunday demanding the formation of an all-party poll-time government.
Across the country, six protestors were reportedly killed and 500 others injured when opposition supporters and their ruling party rivals fought pitched battles.
The death of another opposition man was reported Saturday.
The usually busy streets of the capital Dhaka looked almost deserted Sunday night as panic gripped the city residents and thousands of anti-riot police were deployed.
Television footage showed security forces dispersed protestors with tear gas and rubber bullets as they tried to march on major roads of Dhaka.
Sheikh Hasina’s ruling Awami League (AL) blamed the main opposition party for creating anarchic situation in the name of political activities and urged opposition leader to withdraw the shut-down call and sit for dialogue.
During the strike, dozens of vehicles were smashed or set on fire in Dhaka and elsewhere Sunday.