Bangladesh’s largest Islamist party enforces nationwide strike

Bangladesh’s largest Islamist party enforces nationwide strike

bangladesh2Bangladesh’s largest Islamist party enforced a nationwide dawn-to-dusk strike Thursday in protest against the death sentence handed down to its chief in a 10-year-old arms smuggling case.

Fourteen people, including two former Bangladeshi ministers and Indian separatist leader Paresh Baruah, were awarded death penalty by a court in the country’s southeastern port city of Chittagong last Thursday for smuggling in 10 truckloads of firearms in 2004.

The two top politicians sentenced to death are former state minister for home Lutfozzaman Babar, and Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami party chief and former industries minister Matiur Rahman Nizami.

Shafiqur Rahman, acting secretary general of Jamaat, in a statement earlier had said that the party decided to enforce the nationwide strike to protest what he said “a conspiracy to kill our party chief”.

On account of the strike, traffic on the streets in capital Dhaka and elsewhere in the country remained relatively thin as most private vehicles remained indoors, Xinhua reported.

The strike was reported to be comparatively peaceful with no major incident of violence having been reported.

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