The Straits Times
Published on Jan 16, 2013

Strike over fuel price hike hits Bangladesh


DHAKA (AFP) - Bangladesh police fired tear gas and water cannon at protestors on Wednesday as a nationwide strike over a hike in fuel prices brought large parts of the country to a halt.

A coalition of leftwing parties, including the Communist Party of Bangladesh, called the strike to protest a recent increase in diesel, kerosene and gasoline prices, saying it was due to pressure from the International Monetary Fund.

Most schools, shops and private businesses were closed in the capital, the normally congested Dhaka streets were largely empty and motorways were deserted, affecting deliveries from the ports.

Police fired tear gas at scores of activists near the Communist party headquarters in Dhaka after they tried to barricade a key road and smash vehicles, local police chief Golam Sarwar told AFP.