Ban-gladeshi police fired tear gas and rubber bullets Friday to drive off thousands of rock-throwing protesters demanding President Hussain Muhammad Ershad resign, according to reports reaching India.
About 10,000 people defied bans on processions and poured through the streets of Dhaka protesting the state of emergency imposed Tuesday night, the unofficial reports said.Several people were injured but exact figures were not available, said witnesses who demanded anonymity because of a government-imposed news blackout.
Reports by The Associated Press and other news agencies out of Dhaka, the capital, are subject to prior censorship.
Ershad, a former army general who seized power in a bloodless coup in 1982, ordered the emergency after six weeks of increasing political turbulence. The unrest was prompted by Ershad's announcement that a new presidential election would be held in June 1991 and he would run again.
The country's top opposition leaders, Sheik Hasina of the Awami League and Khaleda Zia of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party, refuse to participate in any elections unless Ershad first hands the government to a caretaker administration.
The around-the-clock curfew imposed with the state of emergency was lifted for seven hours today to enable people to buy food and attend prayer sessions on the weekly Islamic holy day.