Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – The 60-hour nationwide general strike, enforced by the BNP-led‘18-party’ alliance began at 6:00am on Sunday.

Leader of the opposition Khaleda Zia on Friday asked the government to start dialogue by Sunday on her demand for an election-time non-party administration otherwise she announced a 60-hour nationwide general strike from Sunday.

The shutdown, enforced by the opposition despite the prime minister’s request to withdraw it, will end at 6:00pm on Tuesday.

The first hours of the 60-hour nationwide strike was marked by stray incidents of bomb blasts, clashes and arson in different parts of the country, leaving a Swechhasebak Dal leader dead in Faridpur district.  

Police and witnesses said the clash broke out around 8:00 am as police obstructed some hartal supporters while they were trying to put barricades on a road, leaving Maruf dead on the spot, according to reports.

On the other hand, pickets stabbed to death a municipality-level Jubo League leader in Abhaynagar upazila of Jessore during the opposition combine-sponsored hartal this morning.

Police confirmed the death of Alamgir Hossain Shimul, Jubo League general secretary of Noapara municipality unit in the upazila.

The incidents of violence like clashes, arson, vandalism and explosions of crude bombs were also reported from Satkhita, Rajshahi, Gazipur, Chittagong and Natore.

The pro-hartal activists set fire to an Awami League office in Gazipur in the morning.

They also set three vehicles on fire and vandalized six others in different districts.

BBN/SSR/AD-27Oct13-11:58 am (BST)