50 injured in Dhaka protests

Dhaka, September 21 :

At least 50 people were injured when Bangladesh police baton-charged hundreds of opposition activists in Dhaka today as a strike paralysed much of the country, officials said.

An alliance of 14 opposition parties led by the Awami League called the strike to demand electoral reforms ahead of national polls in January.

Two Awami League leaders were admitted to hospital and around 50 activists suffered mostly minor injuries after being beaten up by the police in a number of clashes, said party general sec.

“Because of the (monsoon) rains the protests were not as intense as we have seen before but we chased away some supporters after they smashed car windows,” said Mahbub Alam Khan, police officer in charge of Gulshan in the capital.

The demonstrations in Dhaka and other major cities kept cars off roads and closed businesses.