Some 200 people arrested during protest march against the government in Dhaka
by William Gomes
March takes place during a 24-hour general strike called by the BNP to protest bad government by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. It is the first time since 2007. A former foreign minister is among the arrested.
Dhaka (AsiaNews) – Police yesterday arrested about 200 people during a demonstration in Dhaka. They were detained for violating a ban on processions in thoroughfares.

Tejgaon police chief Tapan Kumar Ghosh said that many members of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) were among the arrested, including former Foreign Minister Shamsher Mobin Chowdhury.

The march was part of a 24-hour general strike organised by the BNP to protest against what it calls the “failures and excesses” of the government, which has been run by the Awami League since 2009.

Yesterday’s action was the first since 2007. Shops, schools and markets were closed. Public transit was also partially affected.

BNP secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain told AsiaNews that he was satisfied by the turnout. He added that the strike was designed to put pressure on the government to stop persecuting opposition leaders and workers, interfering in the justice system and politicising the public service.

Prime Minister and Awami League leader Sheikh Hasina slammed the action, saying, “The BNP and its stooges are out to frustrate democracy and create anarchy.”