Sunday, January 30, 2005

BANGLADESH: General Strike-Day 2- Update 30JAN [3News Clippings]

POLICE DRAG PROTESTERS

NEWS HEADLINES IN CLIPPINGS

01. Violence mars Bangladesh opposition strike
02. Opposition strike grips Bangladesh for second day
03. Violence mars Bangladesh strike

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30/01/2005

01. Violence mars Bangladesh opposition strike

DHAKA, Jan 30 (Reuters) - Police beat back opposition activists with tear gas and baton charges in the Bangladesh capital Dhaka on Sunday as a nationwide general strike entered a second day. At least 20 people were injured, witnesses said.

Hundreds of opposition Awami League activists were dispersed after they took to the streets, chanting slogans and many pelting stones at security personnel, the witnesses said.

"At least 20 people were injured, including former Home Minister Mohammad Nasim. Protesters set fire to a bus and damaged several other vehicles," one witness said.

Police detained dozens of activists, including women, and dragged them
into police vans.

More than 70 people were injured in clashes between protesters and police on the first day of the three-day stoppage on Saturday.

One rickshaw driver was killed late on Saturday night in Dhaka after he was hit by a bomb, which police believed was thrown by strike supporters.

The Awami League called the strike after a grenade attack at a party rally in the country's northeastern Hobiganj district on Thursday killed a senior leader and four other people.

Hundreds of angry Awami activists attacked a police station in Hobiganj, 250 km (150 miles) from Dhaka, on Sunday. Police detained 10 activists, local reporters said.

Thursday's blast -- the latest in a series to rock the country over the last year -- killed key Awami leader Shah Abu Mohammad Shamsul Kibria, 73, a former finance minister, U.N. official and diplomat. Kibria's nephew was among four others killed.

Prime Minister Begum Khaleda Zia condemned Kibria's death and vowed to bring his killers to justice.

But Awami chief Sheikh Hasina, who herself narrowly escaped injury in a grenade attack at a rally in Dhaka last August, said the government was not "sincere in its commitment to punish the perpetrators. Instead, it is trying to protect them."

State Minister for Home Affairs Lutfuzzaman Babar told reporters late on Saturday that the government had asked the U.S. government for help in investigating the attack.

"We are expecting a response by Monday," Babar said.

He added that the government had also sought help from Interpol and Scotland Yard.

On Saturday, Hasina threatened to launch "more actions" following the current strike to force an early parliamentary election, which need not be called until October 2006.

The strike, backed by several smaller opposition parties, drove most transport off Dhaka's usually teeming streets and closed shops and schools.

It also disrupted activities at the country's main port in Chittagong and shut stock exchanges.

Authorities have deployed hundreds of police, paramilitary troops and auxiliary forces in Dhaka and other main cities trying to keep order.

LINK


30/01/2005

02. Opposition strike grips Bangladesh for second day
(Reuters)

DHAKA - Few vehicles moved in the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka, on Sunday as an opposition-led nationwide general strike bit for a second day and police remained on high alert for any trouble.

A Reuters reporter saw police checking the identities and baggage of people boarding buses hoping to leave the city before strike supporters took to the streets.

Police said there had been no violence on Saturday night after more than 70 people were reported injured in daytime clashes between strikers and law-enforcement agents and political rivals in Dhaka and elsewhere.

The main opposition party, the Awami League, called a three-day national strike after an explosion at a rally in the country's northeast on Thursday killed a senior party leader and four other people.

Police said the explosion, which also wounded around 70, was caused by a grenade thrown by an unknown assailant.

State Minister for Home Affairs Lutfuzzaman Babar told reporters late on Saturday that the government had asked the US government for help in investigating the attack.

"We are expecting a response by Monday," Babar said.

He added that the government had also sought help from Interpol and Scotland Yard.

Thursday's blast—the latest in a series to rock the country over the last year—killed key Awami leader Shah Abu Mohammad Shamsul Kibria, 73, a former finance minister, U.N. official and diplomat. Kibria's nephew was among four others killed.

Prime Minister Begum Khaleda Zia condemned Kibria's death and vowed to bring his killers to justice.

But Awami chief Sheikh Hasina, who herself narrowly escaped injury in a grenade attack at a rally in Dhaka last August, said the government was not "sincere in its commitment to punish the perpetrators. Instead, it is trying to protect them."

On Saturday, Hasina threatened to launch "more actions" following the current strike to force an early parliamentary election, which need not be called until October 2006.

The strike, backed by several smaller opposition parties, drove most transport off Dhaka's usually teeming streets and closed shops and schools.

It also disrupted activities at the country's main port in Chittagong and shut stock exchanges.

Authorities have deployed hundreds of police, paramilitary troops and auxiliary forces in Dhaka and other main cities trying to keep order.

LINK

30/01/2005

03. Violence mars Bangladesh strike

DHAKA (Reuters) - Police have beaten back opposition activists with tear gas and baton charges in the Bangladesh capital Dhaka as a nationwide general strike enters a second day. At least 20 people have been injured, witnesses say.

Hundreds of opposition Awami League activists were dispersed after they took to the streets on Sunday, chanting slogans and many pelting stones at security personnel, the witnesses said.

"At least 20 people were injured, including former Home Minister Mohammad Nasim. Protesters set fire to a bus and damaged several other vehicles," one witness said.

Police detained dozens of activists, including women, and dragged them into police vans.

More than 70 people were injured in clashes between protesters and police on the first day of the three-day stoppage on Saturday.

One rickshaw driver was killed late on Saturday night in Dhaka after he was hit by a bomb, which police believed was thrown by strike supporters.

The Awami League called the strike after a grenade attack at a party rally in the country's northeastern Hobiganj district on Thursday killed a senior leader and four other people.

Hundreds of angry Awami activists attacked a police station in Hobiganj, 250 km (150 miles) from Dhaka, on Sunday. Police detained 10 activists, local reporters said.

Thursday's blast -- the latest in a series to rock the country over the last year -- killed key Awami leader Shah Abu Mohammad Shamsul Kibria, 73, a former finance minister, U.N. official and diplomat. Kibria's nephew was among four others killed.

Prime Minister Begum Khaleda Zia condemned Kibria's death and vowed to bring his killers to justice.

But Awami chief Sheikh Hasina, who herself narrowly escaped injury in a grenade attack at a rally in Dhaka last August, said the government was not "sincere in its commitment to punish the perpetrators. Instead, it is trying to protect them."

State Minister for Home Affairs Lutfuzzaman Babar told reporters late on Saturday that the government had asked the U.S. government for help in investigating the attack.

"We are expecting a response by Monday," Babar said.

He added that the government had also sought help from Interpol and Scotland Yard.

On Saturday, Hasina threatened to launch "more actions" following the current strike to force an early parliamentary election, which need not be called until October 2006.

The strike, backed by several smaller opposition parties, drove most transport off Dhaka's usually teeming streets and closed shops and schools.

It also disrupted activities at the country's main port in Chittagong and shut stock exchanges.

Authorities have deployed hundreds of police, paramilitary troops and auxiliary forces in Dhaka and other main cities trying to keep order.

LINK