Dhaka: Bangladesh's main opposition party BNP on Friday called for another 72-hour nationwide shutdown from Sunday, stepping up its nearly two-month-old tirade against the government demanding fresh polls under a non-party administration.
The Bangladesh Nationalist Party-led 20 party alliance has been protesting and staging shutdowns since January 6 to mark the first anniversary of the controversial polls the BNP's arch-rival Awami League won.
The 20-party alliance demands fresh elections under a non-party caretaker administration.
The 72-hour shutdown will be enforced on top of its nonstop blockade underway since January 6. The fresh shutdown has been announced hours after the five-day 'hartal' by the alliance ended this morning.
The shutdown will begin at 6:00am Sunday and will continue till 6:00am Wednesday, according to a statement by BNP Joint Secretary General Salauddin Ahmed.
The alliance will also take out "mass processions" across the country on Sunday, the DailyStar reported.
The BNP-led alliance has enforced general strikes across the country on all working days since February 1, besides the limited hour shutdowns.
The shutdown is meant to protest "killing of opposition leaders and activists in the name of crossfire, repression, and filing of false cases against alliance leaders," and demanding release of all political prisoners, the report said.
The turbulence in Bangladesh has forced authorities to move the dates of the Secondary School Certificate (SSC) and its equivalent examinations on weekends.
Nearly 100 people have died in the political violence since the protests began in early January. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said the non-stop agitation has caused the country nearly USD 15.5 billion.
BNP, led by Hasina's arch rival and former premier Khaleda Zia, boycotted the 2014 general election and is enforcing the current violent blockade across Bangladesh, demanding fresh polls.
The prime minister has already ruled out the possibility of talks with the agitating BNP-led coalition to end the political deadlock.