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Tension after day of violence
Arrest of 33 opposition leaders sparks unrest, general strikeRiot police take a break along a street in the center of Dhaka yesterday
- ucanews.com reporter, Dhaka
- May 18, 2012
They were arrested after submitting a bail application at a Dhaka court in connection with an arson attack during anti-government protests on April 29.
MoreÂ opposition figures were reportedly arrestedÂ yesterday in the aftermath of the violence on Wednesday after protesters attacked vehicles and buildings and clashed with police in the capital and in other towns across the country.
Reports say some of the protesters were armed with homemade bombs.
Most institutions and businesses were closed yesterday, having answered a call for a general strike by the countryâ€™s 18-party opposition alliance led by the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP).
Police and security forces were out in force in the capital and elsewhere in the country to deter further violence, while the BNPâ€™s headquarters in Dhakaâ€™s Naya Paltan district has been sealed off.
BNP leaders accused the government of trying to deny the opposition their democratic rights and also of using the judiciary to suppress opposition voices.
â€śThe government canâ€™t stop our movement by arresting our leaders. History tells us that whenever the ruling party cracks down heavily on the opposition, the movement becomes more powerful,â€ť Nazrul Islam, a senior BNP leader told journalists.
Another BNP leader Moudud Ahmed said the 33 opposition figures were arrested for political reasons and that no specific charges had been laid against them.
Opposition demands leaderâ€™s return
Calls for caretaker government
BNP rally raises tension in capital