POST TIME: 1 December, 2017 00:00 00 AM
Stray incidents mark left parties’ hartal

Stray incidents mark left parties’ hartal

The eight-hour hartal enforced by several left-leaning parties protesting the fresh power tariff hike was marked by sporadic incidents of clash and arrest across the country yesterday, reports UNB. In a joint press release, Ganatantrik Bam Morcha, Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) and Socialist Party of Bangladesh (BSD) claimed that around 50 of their leaders and activists were arrested during the hartal hours. The arrestees include CPB presidium member Mihir Ghosh, secretarial body member of United Communist League Azizur Rahman and central leader of Ganasonghati Andolan Julhasnain Babu.

Hartal supporters clashed with law enforcers in Comilla, Narayanganj, Chittagong, Gaibandha, Barisal, Rajshahi, Kishoreganj, Khulna, Gazipur and Dhaka, leaving at least 50 people injured. CPB-backed student organisation Bangladesh Chhatra Union claimed that 150 people were injured in attacks by police during the hartal across the country.

The vehicular movement was almost normal across the country during the hartal that began at 6am and ended at 2pm.

In the capital, police raided the CPB office at Paltan in the early hours and blocked the building while they also arrested 11 students, youth and workers' leaders.

A good number of law enforcers remained deployed at important points of the capital during the hartal ours to fend off any unwanted incidents. Police, meanwhile, detained 10-12 hartal supporters as they tried to obstruct the vehicular movement in Paltan. They were, however, released later, said Mahmudul Islam, officer-in-charge of Paltan Police Station.  Leaders and activists of the left-leaning parties were seen chanting slogans at Shahbagh intersection protesting the power tariff hike.

On November 23, Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (Berc) on an average raised the power tariff by 5.3 percent or Tk. 0.35 per unit. Later on the day, Ganatantrik Bam Morcha, Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) and Socialist Party of Bangladesh (BSD) jointly called the hartal for Thursday.

Meanwhile, the left-leaning parties condemned the police action on their leaders and activists during the hartal hours.

They also announced to stage demonstrations across the country on Friday protesting the police attack and arrest of their leaders and activists.