08/24/2007, 00.00
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Curfew suspended, 4 professors arrested

Authorities suspend until this evening the curfew in over 6 cities hit by violence and student protests. The government takes it out on “politicised professors” who they claim instigated clashes. But the unrest spread through civil society, exasperated by the state of emergency and high cost of living.

Dhaka (AsiaNews) – Men gripping on to crowded train carriages, traffic jams and blocked streets.  This is how Dhaka woke up today after the interim government suspended the curfew imposed two days ago in the capital and 5 other cities, the wake of  violent clashes between police and protesting students. The authorities have arrested 4 university professors over the protest which began August 20th.


The chief of police announced that the “law and order has returned” thus the curfew was suspended at 8 this morning until 10 this evening.  The procedure had forced the closure of shops, public transport, schools, banks and clinics, many sick people had problems getting to hospital for care.  On hearing that the curfew had been lifted people poured onto the streets: to buy food or to return to home villages until calm returns.


Meanwhile yesterday the police arrested 4 university professors: two in Dhaka, where protests were sparked, and two in Rajshahi, accusing them of having “instigated revolt”.  The police ahs also opened over 2,500 cases against students, while investigations have been ordered into events at the capital’s university campus.


The student movement, supported by the vast majority of civil society, is protesting the military backed government, the high cost of living and the state of emergency imposed over two months ago which bans any public gathering.  The demonstrators, who responded to police violence with vandalism, are asking for general elections and democracy.  Clashes to date have left one person dead and 200 injured across the country.



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