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.

PTI



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

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