Protesters clashed with police in several towns across Bangladesh yesterday as the latest strike declared by the nation’s largest Islamic party paralyzed much of the country.
Shops and schools were closed in the capital, Dhaka, and major roads were largely deserted after the Jamaat-e-Islami Party called for a nationwide strike to denounce the jailing on Sunday of Islamist leaders by a war crimes tribunal.
Two police officers were injured in the town of Ullapara after protesters threw a homemade bomb into their vehicle, police said.
“They have been hospitalized,” Ullapara Police Chief Habibul Islam told reporters, adding that no one was arrested over the attack.
Violence also erupted in the town of Laksam, where police fired rubber bullets at about 300 gathered protesters, district police chief Tutul Chakrabarty told reporters.
Throughout the country, inter-district bus and truck services were also suspended in anticipation of the strike.
Jamaat called the strike to protest the jailing on Sunday of two Islamists, including a member of the Bangladeshi parliament, for three months for contempt of court, a decision likely to further fuel tensions between the secular government and religious parties.
Jamaat Legislator Hamidur Rahman Azad and Jamaat Acting Deputy Rafiqul Islam Khan were sentenced in absentia by the controversial International Crimes Tribunal, which is trying Islamists and others for war crimes.