Bangladesh opposition calls 72-hour strike

Bangladesh`s main opposition alliance has called another nationwide strike from Sunday morning against "arrest and killing" of its leaders and activists.

IANS| Last Updated: Feb 07, 2015, 15:16 PM IST

Dhaka: Bangladesh`s main opposition alliance has called another nationwide strike from Sunday morning against "arrest and killing" of its leaders and activists.

The BNP alliance called the 72-hour shutdown just a day after the end of a five-day countrywide strike from Feb 1 morning amid violent clashes, vandalism, arson and crude bomb attacks.

Salahuddin Ahmed, spokesman of two-time ex-prime minister Khaleda Zia`s Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), made the announcement of latest strike in a press release Friday, Xinhua reported.

The BNP and its allies have declared the road, rail and waterway strike from Sunday morning amid its ongoing blockade campaign that entered the 33rd day Saturday.

Ahmed, a BNP joint secretary general, said the 72-hour strike would start at 6 am Sunday and would continue till 6 am Wednesday.

He said the strike was also aimed at demanding release of the alliance`s dozens of leaders and activists, including BNP acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir and joint secretary General Rizvi Ahmed.

Earlier Friday, Islami Chhatra Shibir, the student wing of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami party, a key ally of Zia`s 20-party opposition alliance, called a dawn-to-dusk shutdown protesting the "killing and arrest of its leaders and activists".

Shibir president Abdul Jabbar in a press release made the announcement, claiming that "seven Shibir leaders and activists were shot dead in the last one month".

The announcement of the fresh 72-hour strike, however, came around shortly after Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina called upon the alliance not to enforce strike during the ongoing Secondary School Certificate (SSC) and its equivalent examinations of about 1.5 million students.

The examinations, which began Friday after they were deferred twice due to the five-day shutdown by the alliance in the last one week, again face uncertainty following the announcement of the 72-hour shutdown from Sunday.