Bangladesh issues shoot-at-sight orders for opposition strike

Dhaka:  Bangladesh authorities today issued shoot-at-sight orders as the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and its allies enforced a 36-hour nationwide strike to demand resignation of the Awami League government.

Orders were issued to shoot at sight those indulging in sabotage. Home Minister Mahiuddin Khan Alamgir met senior police officers ahead of the strike, the Prothom Alo newspaper reported.

"Nothing contrary to the law of the land was ordered. They (law enforcement agencies) were asked to do what is required. The law allows police to use gunshots, the law has not been violated by this order," Mr Alamgir later said.

One person was killed when a bus rammed into a tea stall while being pursued by opposition activists.

The shoot-at-sight orders came after suspected opposition activists set on fire at least nine vehicles and damaged several others yesterday during the country's independence day celebrations.

Schools and shopping malls were closed and transport was thin though opposition activists did not appear on Dhaka's streets where security forces were kept on alert.

Television channels reported over a dozen crude bomb blasts in parts of the capital.

The BNP was yet to issue a statement but Professor Mizanur Rahman, chairman of the National Human Rights Commission, criticised the shoot-at-sight order.
Story First Published: March 27, 2013 22:35 IST

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