Fifty hurt in Bangladesh protest over price rises
Dhaka, May 10: At least 50 people were hurt today when police fired rubber bullets and teargas shells to disperse opposition activists protesting against rising commodity prices in Bangladesh, police and witnesses said.
Several vehicles and a number of houses, including the local office of the main opposition Awami League, were also ransacked in the northern town of Netrokona, 200 km from Dhaka.
The violence erupted after police opened fire on thousands of activists, who were marching towards the office of the district administrator to protest over the sharp rise in prices of food, fuel and other essentials in recent weeks.
''The violence flared up when stick wielding pro-government activists attacked the protesters,'' said local Awami League leader Ashraf Ali Khan.
At least 20 people have been killed during protests by mostly farmers in the country's northwest in recent months over demands for power, water and diesel to run irrigation pumps.
Over the past five days, nearly 130 people have been injured during protests over power and water in the capital Dhaka.
Of Bangladesh's nearly 60 power generation plants, 25 are out of operation due to mechanical faults. In Dhaka, a city of 10 million people, the Water and Sewerage Authority can supply only two-thirds of demand every day.