Activists arrested ahead of anti-Govt rally in Dhaka
Awami League, the main opposition party, has called for a demonstration to demand resignation of Khaleda Zia's Govt.india Updated: Feb 03, 2006 13:54 IST
Bangladesh's main opposition alliance said on Friday that police have arrested more than a thousand activists in nationwide raids ahead of an anti-government rally planned for the weekend.
The Awami League and 13 allied parties have been urging supporters to join the opposition demonstration on Sunday in the capital, Dhaka, to demand the resignation of Prime Minister Khaleda Zia's coalition government, accusing it of incompetence, corruption and authoritarianism.
But the Awami League's general secretary said on Friday that police have been working to curb the rally.
"The government has cracked down on us to foil our planned protest," Abdul Jalil said. "Police have so far arrested up to 1,000 opposition members who have been mobilising supporters to come to join the rally in Dhaka."
Police officials were not immediately available to comment.
The Daily Star and Janakantha newspapers reported that police arrested opposition activists in several towns on Wednesday and Thursday as they prepared to leave for Dhaka.
Opposition parties have recently launched a campaign of street protests and general strikes accusing the government of graft, fixing the electoral roll in its favour and of failing to curb rising Islamic militancy.