Police have detained at least 12 people protesting the latest increase in gas prices, and used water cannons and tear gas canisters to disperse hundreds more in Dhaka.
Two leftist parties – Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) and Bangladesher Samajtantrik Dal (Basad) – enforced the half-day shutdown in the capital on Tuesday, demanding that the government decision to raise gas prices be revoked.
In pictures: Hartal protesting gas price hike
Activists staged a procession at Shahbagh in the morning and tried to occupy the key intersection.
DMP's Additional Deputy Commissioner Mizanur Rahman defended the police action, mentioning that there were key hospitals and educational institutions at Shahbagh.
Also Read: Two gas price hikes against the law
“We were forced to use water cannons and fire tear gas as the protesters paid no heed to our requests to move away,” he said, and confirmed the arrest of at least 12 people.
The CPB and Basad called for the shutdown on Friday, a day after the gas prices were increased.
Also Read: Tk300 hike in household gas prices in two phases
From March, single burner stoves will cost Tk750 a month, up from Tk600. From June 1, they will cost Tk900. Double burner stoves will cost Tk800 from March 1 and Tk950 from June 1.
Meanwhile, the High Court on Tuesday stayed for six months the decision to raise gas prices again in June.