[QODLink]
Central & South Asia

Bangladesh opposition protest turns violent

Clashes erupt in Dhaka during second day of nationwide general strike, killing one and injuring 20 others.

Last Modified: 14 Aug 2013 15:36
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Jamaat-e-Islami members called the strike to denounce a court decision that deems the party illegal [AP]

Clashes between Bangladeshi police and activists supporting a major Islamic opposition political party has left one person dead and about 20 injured on the second day of a nationwide general strike, local media has reported.

Police fired rubber bullets on Wednesday to disperse dozens of protesters, belonging to the Jamaat-e-Islami party, who tried to block a highway in Meherpur district, 175km west of Dhaka, local television station ETV reported. 

Opposition activists set off crude bombs, blocked roads and burned vehicles to enforce a 48-hour nationwide general strike, injuring dozens of people.

Another 30 people were injured as homemade bombs went off in Dhaka and elsewhere in the country, the TV station said. 

'Lost balance'

Media reports said the man who died was a local leader of the party's student wing, but local police chief Rafiqul Islam told The Associated Press news agency that he was yet to be identified.

Islam also denied reports that the man died of injuries caused by police, saying he died when he fled from police, fell and hit his head on a parked car.

Spotlight
Extensive coverage of war crimes trials and calls for blasphemy laws that have divided the nation.

"We are no way responsible for this. They attacked police, blew bombs targeting us, so we had to fire rubber bullets in self-defence," he said. "He is unlucky that he lost balance when fleeing and hit a roadside vehicle."

The party, which is the country's largest Islamic party, called the strike to denounce a court decision that its registration with the Election Commission is invalid.

A High Court panel ruled on August 1 that the party's regulations violate the constitutional provision of secularism by saying it wants to impose Sharia, or Islamic law. Because of the court decision, the party could be barred from taking part in the next elections.

The ruling against Jamaat came amid calls to ban the party for opposing the country's 1971 independence war against Pakistan.

Five party leaders have been sentenced to either death or life imprisonment for crimes against humanity linked to the independence war.

Several others, including party chief Matiur Rahman Nizami, are standing trial on charges of war crimes stemming from the 1971 war.

385

Source:
Associated Press
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
The author argues that in the new economy, it's people, not skills or majors, that have lost value.
Colleagues of detained Al Jazeera journalists press demands for their release, 100 days after their arrest in Egypt.
Mehdi Hasan discusses online freedoms and the potential of the web with Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.
A tight race seems likely as 814 million voters elect leaders in world's largest democracy next week.
Featured
Venezuela's president lacks the charisma and cult of personality maintained by the late Hugo Chavez.
Despite the Geneva deal, anti-government protesters in Ukraine's eastern regions don't intend to leave any time soon.
Since independence, Zimbabwe has faced food shortages, hyperinflation - and several political crises.
After a sit-in protest at Poland's parliament, lawmakers are set to raise government aid to carers of disabled youth.
A vocal minority in Ukraine's east wants to join Russia, and Kiev has so far been unable to put down the separatists.
join our mailing list