12:01 AM, January 08, 2014 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:38 AM, March 08, 2015

18-party hartal extended till 6pm today

18-party hartal extended till 6pm today

Staff Correspondent

The BNP-led 18-party opposition combine yesterday extended its countrywide 48-hour hartal till 6:00pm today demanding cancellation of national polls results, release of its leaders and protesting killing of opposition men on the polling day.
Along with the hartal, the indefinite blockade of roads, rail and waterways, in force since January 1, will continue, BNP's Vice-chairman Selima Rahman told a press briefing at her Gulshan residence around 5:30pm.
The shutdown has been extended by 12 hours also to protest the arrests of some central BNP leaders and “violence through state-sponsored terrorism”, she added.
Within half an hour after the press briefing ended, detectives picked up Selima at her residence.
Speaking at the press conference, Selima blasted the prime minister for the January 5 “farcical election.”  
BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia has asked the party and alliance activists to guard the religious minorities to ensure their security, she mentioned.
The opposition combine will hold prayers in all religious institutions on Friday for the dead opposition men, who died on January 5.
On Saturday, the alliance will stage protests at thanas and upazilas demanding cancellation of polls results.
Canadian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Heather Cruden last night called on BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia at her Gulshan residence.
They discussed issues of mutual interest between the two countries, said party sources.
Stray incidents of violence marked the second day of the opposition's 48-hour countrywide hartal and the seventh day of its indefinite blockade yesterday.
In the capital, public life was largely peaceful. Pro-hartal pickets were not seen on the streets.
A large number of vehicles, including buses, plied the streets of the capital.
Train and launch services were almost normal. However, intercity buses stayed off the streets. Most of the shops and offices remained open.
In Joypurhat, pro-hartal pickets hurled brickbats and three petrol bombs at the Rajshahi-bound Uttara Express at Pachbibi upazila around 12:30pm, reports our Dinajpur correspondent, quoting railway sources.
Three coaches were damaged in the attack, but nobody was injured.
 In Chittagong, Islami Chhatra Shibir activist Saiful Islam sustained bullet wounds when police opened fire at Jamaat-Shibir men at Ashkar Dighir Par around 1:30pm in retaliation against an attack.
Supporters of the opposition alliance set fire to a vehicle at Sitakunda Sadar upazila around 12:30pm.
On Monday, human hauler driver Md Mitul sustained burn injuries as a petrol bomb was hurled at his vehicle in Polytechnic College area.
Mitul was admitted to Chittagong Medical College Hospital with 80 percent burns.


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