Bangladesh hit by strike over fuel price-hike


Thousands of police patrolled the streets of the Bangladeshi capital on Thursday as a nationwide strike called by the main opposition party and its Islamist allies shut schools and businesses. The strike focused on rising fuel prices and the detention of top opposition figures by a tribunal set up to prosecute atrocities carried out during the country’s liberation struggle in 1971. “So far the strike is peaceful,” Dhaka police spokesman Masud Ahmed told AFP, adding that up to 13,000 police officers had been deployed to prevent unrest in the city.
Teams of law enforcement officers headed by magistrates have also been deployed – empowered to hand out on-the-spot jail terms of up to 15 days to any unruly protesters, Ahmed said. Dhaka’s roads were largely deserted and transport to other cities was disrupted, but police said the country’s main Chittagong sea port – which ships most of the country’s crucial garment exports – was operating as normal.