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Anti-Govt strike hits Bangladesh cities, towns

The nationwide dawn-to-dusk strike disrupted public transportation in the capital Dhaka and more than 60 other cities and towns.

india Updated: Feb 15, 2006 13:37 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

Shops and schools across Bangladesh shut their doors on Wednesday to avoid trouble during an opposition-sponsored general strike to protest price hikes and urge the government's resignation.

The nationwide dawn-to-dusk strike also disrupted public transportation in the capital Dhaka and more than 60 other cities and towns, police and news reports said.

The shutdown was sponsored by the main opposition Awami League and 13 small allied parties.

Such strikes get little public support, but most schools and shops close anyway, fearing intimidation and violence by strike supporters.

The opposition has launched a campaign of street protests and general strikes to press for the resignation of Prime Minister Khaleda Zia's four-party coalition government accusing it of corruption, incompetence and authoritarianism.

The opposition has asked the government to cut the prices of fuel which were recently hiked by up to 15 per cent.

The government has vowed to remain in power until its five-year term ends in October this year.

Stores and schools closed in Dhaka, the capital city of 10 million people.

Streets were devoid of cars and buses, and most commuters depended on tricycle rickshaws that were allowed by the strikers to operate.

Dozens of opposition activists paraded through central Dhaka shouting "down with the corrupt government." No violence was reported.

Authorities deployed about 8,000 security forces in Dhaka to prevent any violence.

First Published: Feb 15, 2006 13:37 IST