Protests in Dhaka over ‘ill-treatment’ of Hasina, Zia


Dhaka : Teachers of Dhaka University are sporting black badges to protest the "ill treatment" meted out to Bangladesh's two former prime ministers in the first such protest by them against the caretaker government's actions.

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The teachers held a brief protest on the campus Saturday, dodging strong vigilance of the law enforcers including intelligence agencies, The Daily Star reported Sunday.

The university is the nerve-centre of politics and nursery for many a political movement.

The teachers are protesting the arrest last week of Awami League chief Sheikh Hasina and the house arrest of her political rival Khaleda Zia.

The students wing of Awami League, Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL), observed a strike Sunday against the arrest of Hasina.

Sporadic protests in the country have broken a six-month "no-political-activity" spell in Bangladesh, which is under an indefinite national emergency with a ban on political activity.

Newspapers earlier this week frontpaged a picture of a car set on fire by "unidentified persons" to protest against the arrest of Hasina.

This was perhaps the first such picture since Jan 12 when emergency was imposed and a new interim government under chief Advisor Fakhruddin Ahmed took office. Zia has been summoned to a court next month.

Anticipation trouble from the security forces who would act on a court summons, Zia has made common cause with Hasina after 17 years of bitter fighting in and outside parliament.

She condemned the "indecent" treatment meted out to Hasina during her arrest and in the court room, not forgetting to mention that Hasina was "a national leader" and daughter of the country's founding father.

The last time both premiers put aside their differences was in 1990 when Hasina and Zia joined forces to oust the then ruler, General H.M. Ershad.

The interim government has jailed 220,000 people, including 150 high profile politicos and businessmen, for various crimes including charges of corruption and misuse of office.