Security beefed up in B`desh ahead of shutdown
Last Updated: Sunday, June 12, 2011, 00:35
Dhaka: Security was stepped up in Bangladesh on Saturday ahead of a nationwide shutdown by the opposition parties to protest plans by the ruling Awami league-led coalition to scrap the caretaker government system to conduct general elections in the country.

Police warned of tough action against attempts to create "anarchic situation" as suspected activists of the opposition parties set 11 buses on fire ahead of their 36-hour nationwide general strike from tomorrow.

"Police will strictly prevent any bid to create anarchy or violence during the general strike," said Hassan Mahmood Khandker, the Inspector General Police.

He said the police had enforced strict "intelligence surveillance" to identify the "culprits".

"The vehicles were torched in the wee hours...our fire fighters rushed to the scenes and extinguished the ablaze," a fire brigade spokesman said, adding no one was critically injured.

The shutdown, the second in a week, has been called by main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and Jamaat- e Islami (JI), the largest Islamist party and a key ally of BNP to protest plans of the Hasina-led coalition to amend the constitution to end the provision instituting the non-party interim governments to oversee elections.

A special parliamentary committee, being boycotted by the opposition, last week submitted its report to parliament, suggesting abolition of the system in line with a crucial apex court verdict last month.

The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court on May 10 declared illegal the 13th amendment to the constitution that had introduced the existing caretaker government system.

However, the ruling said the next tenth and eleventh parliamentary elections "might be" held under the existing system.


First Published: Sunday, June 12, 2011, 00:35

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