02/03/2015, 00.00
BANGLADESH
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Bangladesh, political violence threatens survival of population

by Sumon Corraya
A new arsonist attack caused seven deaths and 16 seriously wounded. Traffic strike imposed by opposition "maintained" by constant attacks. The goal is to bring down the government. Material damage greater than number of victims: prices rise; raw materials, not delivered, waste away; ordinary people lose their jobs.

Dhaka (AsiaNews) - There seems to be no end to the political violence marring Bangladesh and for the population living conditions continue to deteriorate. The latest took place this morning, when a group of people threw petrol bombs at a night bus in Jogmohonpur (district of Comilla). Seven people died burned alive, while another 16 were seriously burned. Among these, five are in critical condition.

Monir Hossain, assistant director of the Comilla fire brigade, said: "The attack on the night bus that runs the Dhaka-Chittagong highway occurred around 3:30 am. Seven people died on the spot. The 16 injured were transported to Comilla Medical College and Hospital and Chouddagram Upazila Health Complex. "

Since January 5 a nationwide traffic strike has been imposed by opposition parties. The objective of the coalition - led by the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP, nationalist) and the Jamaat-e-Islam (Islamic fundamentalist) - is to topple the government led by the Awami League and call new elections.

For its part, the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina holds BNP leader Khaleda Zia - de facto - under house arrest, with the "excuse" of protecting her from possible threats to her life.

To make people adhere to the strike, the opposition occasionally endorses arson attacks like today, causing deaths and injuries. To date, about 50 people have been killed and over 350 were injured. However, the material damage caused by the block is causing serious difficulty to the  population. Due to the strike the transit of goods and products undergoes heavy delays, causing the decay of many commodities. Farmers and ranchers cannot sell their produce and prices have skyrocketed.

Students cannot go to school, or college. Many entrepreneurs have lost their jobs.

Fr. Joyanto S. Gomes, director of the Christian Communication Center, told AsiaNews: "It is very serious thing to try to come to power by burning and killing innocent people. It is not democratic targeting education and the economy. We should learn from others how to do good for the people".

The priest, who is also secretary of the Episcopal Commission for Social Communications, says: "I really believe that leaders can achieve their goals by working well, rather than using violence. If the opposition made constructive criticism of the government, proposing effective welfare policies, could come to power with ease".

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