Batons and teargas canisters flew through the air as Bangladeshi police violently dispersed a general strike in the capital Dhaka. A local official claimed eight people have been injured in the dawn clashes.
Some 13,000 police officers were deployed throughout the city, as schools and business had all but shut down amid Sunday’s strife.
“Protesters became unruly as they pelted bricks and stones at police and torched a police van and motorcycle. We fired teargas to prevent vandalism,” deputy commissioner of Dhaka police Khorshed Alam told the AFP news agency.
The strike was carried out at the behest of main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) who are fiercely opposed to the government’s decision to split the 400-year-old capital into two administrative zones.
According to the opposition, the plan is intended to out the opposition-backed mayor, a senior BNP official who was detained during the unrest, but later released.
The government however, claims the division of the city would greatly improve the administration of services to the city’s 15 million residents.