Cops fire teargas shells on hartal supporters, 8 held
09:58 AM, February 28, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 10:06 PM, February 28, 2017

After hartal, leftists threaten to besiege ministry

The government will be hiking the gas tariff in two phases. From March 1, households using double burners will have to pay Tk 800 from the next month, up from Tk 650, and single Tk 750 against Tk 600.

After sponsoring a half-day shutdown in capital Dhaka, left-leaning political parties today threatened to besiege the power ministry protesting the latest gas tariff hike.

“If the tariff hike is not revoked, we will besiege the ministry on March 15,” said Ruhin Hossain Prince, central leader of Communist Party of Bangladesh, said.

The announcement came from the CPB-BSD nexus and Gonotantrik Bam Morcha – two alliances of the left-leaning parties – after carrying out a joint-venture from 6:00am to 12:00noon shutdown.

Read More: Half-day hartal today

“We will protest for a fortnight from March 1 to March 14,” said Zonayed Saki, coordinator of Gonosamhati Andolan, at a programme in Jatiya Press Club. “Then we will besiege the ministry.”

The government will be hiking the gas tariff in two phases. From March 1, households using double burners will have to pay Tk 800 from the next month, up from Tk 650, and single Tk 750 against Tk 600.

The prices would be increased again on June 1 by another Tk 150 for each gas stove.

Tear gas lobbed in Shahbagh, picketers held

Activists of the Progressive Students’ Alliance – student wings of the CPB-BSD and components of the Gonotantrik Bam Morcha – marched in favour of hartal at Shahbagh around 7:00am.

A cat-and-mouse chase ensued around 11:00am. Police lobbed about 40 tear gas canisters and the picketers retaliated with brick chips, our correspondent reported from the spot.

The pro-shutdown activists burned a tyre at Shahbagh intersection and halted vehicular movement for some time, witnesses said. They defaced some private cars during this time.

“Police pounced on us without any warning or reason. They detained 14 of our activists,” Liton Nandi, vice-president of Bangladesh Chhatra Union, told The Daily Star.

The shutdown ended with a joint protest programme at Jatiya Press Club, from where the future programmes were announced.

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