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Oppn activists rally in Dhaka ahead of strike

About 200 activists of Awami League party rallied in Bangladesh's capital to demand government's resignation, police said.

india Updated: Feb 14, 2006 17:15 IST

About 200 opposition activists rallied in Bangladesh's capital on Tuesday, a day before an opposition-sponsored general strike, to demand government's resignation, police and organisers said.

The activists of the country's main opposition Awami League party gathered in front of the party headquarters in downtown Dhaka, and chanted, "Go, corrupt government!"

No violence was reported, a Dhaka Metropolitan police official said on condition of anonymity in line with official policy.

The Awami League and its 13 other political allies have recently stepped up anti-government street campaigns, including general strikes.

They accuse the government of incompetence, corruption and authoritarianism.

But Prime Minister Khaleda Zia's coalition government rejects the allegations and has vowed to remain in power until its five-year term expires in October this year.

At Tuesday's rally, the opposition activists sought support from people for Wednesday's nationwide dawn-to-dusk strike.

"We urge people to stand against this misrule," Awami League's general secretary Abdul Jalil told his supporters.

"We want to free the nation from this corrupt and inefficient government."

On Sunday, Awami League's 56 lawmakers joined the 345-member parliament, ending a yearlong boycott.

But, Jalil said, the party would continue its anti-government activities.

Authorities are expected to step up security measures across Bangladesh to avert any violence on Wednesday.

First Published: Feb 14, 2006 17:15 IST