Oppn cries for electoral reforms ahead fo polls | india | Hindustan Times
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Oppn cries for electoral reforms ahead fo polls

india Updated: Jul 04, 2006 11:43 IST

An opposition-led general strike took hold in Bangladesh's capital on Tuesday, although turnout was relatively poor, witnesses said.

Schools were closed but most offices and banks were open. Streets were crammed with rickshaws and mini-cabs.

A 14-party alliance led by Awami League chief Sheikh Hasina, a former prime minister, called the latest countrywide strike as part of their campaign to force the government to implement electoral reforms before parliamentary polls due in January.

Opposition activists gathered at a few city points, including Bangabandhu Avenue where Awami's main office is located, witnesses said.

They pushed through police barricades and marched through nearby streets, but there were no reports of violence.

Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan, secretary-general of the ruling Bangladesh Nationalist Party, accused the opposition of trying to cause anarchy through a long series of strikes and vowed not to give in.

Opposition activists burned a bus and damaged traffic signals at the capital's Mahakhali area, while police picked up dozens of suspected activists on Monday night.

"We have no other language instead of strike to express our protest against this repressive government," Abdul Jalil, Awami General Secretary, told reporters late on Monday.