36 hour General Strike in Bangladesh brings Arsons, ‘Anarchy’

13.06.2011 § Leave a comment

At least seven buses and two other vehicles were torched in Dhaka on the eve of the BNP-Jamaat’s 36-hour countrywide hartal. Pickets also ransacked several vehicles…

Tofazzal Hossain, officer-in-charge of Motijheel Police Station, said a group of youths set fire to a staff bus of Bangladesh Bank near Culvert Road around 1:30pm while pickets set fire to a bus near Shapla Chattar around 2:30pm.

Ramna police said unidentified people set fire to a bus at Shantinagar around 3:35pm.

Four others were torched in Badda, Mirpur and Bakshibazar in the night. An auto rickshaw was set ablaze on Bijoy Sarani around 8:45pm.

No casualties were reported.

Meanwhile, in an unprecedented measure, mobile courts sentenced at least 52 pickets to imprisonment between one and three months for obstructing police in their duty and damaging property in the city.

Additional Deputy Commissioner Masudur Rahman of Dhaka Metropolitan Police said 16 pickets were given three-month imprisonment each in Ramna area…

Addressing a press briefing at party’s central office in the capital, BNP acting Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir alleged that over 100 opposition men were arrested until yesterday afternoon. He claimed that police started raiding homes of BNP men across the country.

He warned the government of reprisal if it tries to suppress opposition men during hartal.

Inspector General of Police Hassan Mahmood Khandaker told journalists that police have been directed to take tough actions against people creating anarchy during hartal.

Meanwhile, Dhaka Sarak Paribahan Samity in an emergency meeting decided to run buses in the capital and its adjacent areas during the hartal. Leaders of the association in a press release criticised the opposition for calling for another hartal when one was enforced only a week ago.

Joybangla Sangskritik Oikya Jote and Jatiya Rickshaw-Van Sramik League in separate press releases criticised BNP and its allies for putting people into suffering.

Full article here The Daily Star.

BNP (bangladeshi national party), Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami and Islamic Okiya Jote call strike after moves to change electoral system… or at least that’s how CNN describesthe cause of the ensuing unrest.

An Ammurican comrade in Bangladesh writes:

yes, the hartal is nationwide, and it’s
fascinating to see a general strike in action, but it’s definitely not
something i’d consider inspirational or worth rooting for in this
case.  the two political parties here are both completely fucked, and
this is just one party (the more right-leaning of the two, which is in
coalition with a smaller third party that’s islamic fundamentalist and
implicated in all sorts of fucked up shit against women) trying to
leverage against the other.  i, maybe idealistically or naively,
tended to think general strikes were all about worker
solidarity–like, that they *worked* because people were on the same
page about demands–but in this case, the thing that’s enforcing the
hartal is the threat of violence from BNP and Jamaat supporters.  they
set some busses on fire the day before the hartal as a “warning” and i
guess, from what i’ve heard people say, everyone complies because
they’d rather not get fucked with.

the whole thing is super depressing.

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