Bangladesh: Violence over opposition leader detention and transport blockade

“Miscreants” set a bus on fire near Parliament complex in Dhaka during the BNP’s blockade, leaving four students of Eden College injured. Source.

Police stationed outside Khaleda Zia’s private offices in Dhaka’s affluent Gulshan district were stood down on Monday, ending a 16-day political siege.

“They (police) first removed their vans at around 2.30 am and afterwards they left the scene along with water cannons,” a Bangladesh National Party (BNP) official told reporters.

Zia, a two-time former premier and leader of the BNP, was barred from leaving her office ahead of nationwide anti-government rallies planned for the first anniversary of disputed elections. The controversial vote on January 5, 2014, was boycotted by the opposition who claimed it was rigged, delivering another five-year term to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

During Zia’s de-facto house arrest, she had called for the protests to continue, and for a nationwide transport blockade that would force the incumbent Awami League government to hold fresh polls.

“The BNP-led 20-party opposition alliance’s transport blockade will continue until the government agrees to our demand,” BNP party spokesman Sayrul Kabir Khan said after Zia’s release…

Apparently everyone is too preoccupied with this problem to protest over cartoons. The BNP are allied with the Islamists.