Student protests, curfew and universities closed in six cities
Dhaka (AsiaNews) – After three days of violent clashes between students and police, which left one dead and over 200 injured, yesterday the provisional government of Bangladesh closed colleges and universities and imposed an indefinite curfew on 6 cities, among them the capital.
The clashes broke out August 20th on the campus of Dhaka university after soldiers posted on the campus beat two students. Yesterday authorities removed the army post from the campus at the request of students and professors, but at this point protests had already spread beyond the city transforming itself into an out and out popular uprising. The cities under curfew apart from Dhaka are Rajshahi, Chittagong, Sylhet, Baribal and Khulna.
The students, joined yesterday by commercialists and taxi drivers, are asking for an end to the state of emergency , imposed 6 months ago by the government which took over power in January with military support. The emergency rule among other things prohibits all public protest. President Iajuddin Ahmed had cancelled the elections due to be held in spring, promising to combat corruption and to establish democratic consultations "by 2008", after having “re-established normalcy in the country”. But the people seem tired. Local experts tell that the population have been deluded by the new government, while political instability and a rising cost of living continue.