Strike called in Bangladesh to ban Islamic partiesBy AP News Dec 18, 2012 1:23PM UTC
DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — A general strike to demand that Muslim-majority Bangladesh ban Islamic political parties has shut down schools and stores and disrupted traffic in Dhaka, the capital.
A coalition of five leftist parties was enforcing Tuesday’s dawn-to-dusk nationwide strike, a common tactic in Bangladesh to highlight demands.
Authorities deployed about 10,000 police and security forces in Dhaka as hundreds of protesters took to the streets, blocking roads and halting traffic. But there were no immediate reports of violence.
More than two dozen Islamic parties in Bangladesh want the country to be governed by Sharia, or Islamic law.
The leftists say the Islamic parties should be banned because they oppose the constitutional provision that Bangladesh be governed by secular law.