Protest over Bangladesh missing leader turns violent

DHAKA Thu Apr 19, 2012 7:26pm IST

Related Topics

DHAKA (Reuters) - Bangladeshi police battled stone-throwing protesters on Thursday during a demonstration over the disappearance of an opposition leader in which dozens of people were injured, police and witnesses said.

Police in the capital Dhaka used batons and teargas to disperse the protesters, who set at least three vehicles on fire and damaged several more outside the office of main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), according to the witnesses.

On Tuesday, BNP's young leader Ilyas Ali, a former student leader and former lawmaker, disappeared with his car driver near his Dhaka home.

Party chief Begum Khaleda Zia, a former prime minister, accused the government of "lifting Ilyas Ali" to thwart an opposition campaign aimed at ousting the government and forcing early elections, not due before end of 2013.

The government denies this accusation. Home Minister Sahara Khatun told reporters on Thursday that security agencies were trying to find Ali, but warned that authorities would not tolerate any violence over his disappearance.

Police and witnesses said the protesters had set off dozens of small explosive devices packed with splinters during the protest, and fought running battles with police deployed to restore order.

"At least 15 people were injured, three cars torched and several vehicles also damaged," one witness said.

Police said they had fired teargas shells after the protesters turned on them.

BNP said three of its senior leaders including acting Secretary-General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir were among those injured, without giving details.

On Thursday, BNP also staged a daylong strike in the northeast part of the country, Ali's constituency and ancestral home, and called for a countrywide strike for Sunday, a working day in Bangladesh.

(Reporting by Anis Ahmed; Editing by Alessandra Rizzo)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

TOP SHOWCASE

Gaza Violence

Gaza Violence

Israel strikes house of Hamas Gaza leader, digs in for long fight.  Full Article 

Ferry Disaster

Ferry Disaster

Doomed South Korean ferry boss's driver turns himself in.  Full Article 

Cyber Surveillance

Cyber Surveillance

U.S. senator to propose strong curbs on NSA phone data collection.  Full Article 

India in England

India in England

Bell recaptures form as England punish India.  Full Article 

Ebola Outbreak

Ebola Outbreak

Nigeria isolates hospital in Lagos as Obama briefed on Ebola outbreak.  Full Article 

Anti-trust Probe

Anti-trust Probe

Microsoft targeted in apparent Chinese anti-trust probe.  Full Article 

Proteas on Top

Proteas on Top

S.Africa secure draw to reclaim top test ranking.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage