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Bangladesh opposition calls general strike from Sunday

The 20-party opposition alliance in Bangladesh has called a general strike in the country from Sunday amid non-stop political violence, media reported Saturday.



Dhaka: The 20-party opposition alliance in Bangladesh has called a general strike in the country from Sunday amid non-stop political violence, media reported Saturday.

The opposition parties would enforce a 36-hour shutdown from Sunday morning, said Ruhul Kabir Rizvi, joint secretary general of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), which leads the opposition alliance, according to a news report.

Rizvi urged activists of the BNP and allied parties to "peacefully" enforce the strike.

The opposition alliance in Bangladesh led by former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia`s BNP had boycotted the general election in January last year and has been pressing for fresh elections since then.

The alliance has been observing an indefinite blockade since Jan 5 to press for a dialogue over its demand for fresh polls.

An initial statement by the opposition said that the shutdown was to protest against the "hike in power tariff, large scale arrests of opposition activists and `government conspiracies for sabotage".

However, another statement was issued later which said that the move was to protest against "government plans to raise power prices".

At least 35 people have been killed so far and over a hundred injured in blockade-related violence.

At least 40 people sustained burn injuries in a string of arson attacks by supporters of the BNP-led blockade Friday.

The BNP had earlier called a 48-hour strike in Dhaka and Khulna divisions from Jan 21.

BNP chief Khaleda Zia announced Monday that her party would continue the blockade of the country, ending hopes of a quick solution to the crisis that began with her being confined to her office earlier this month.

From Zee News

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