(dpa) – At least one person was killed and several others were wounded after a protest against Covid-19 restrictions turned violent in Bangladesh, police said on Tuesday.
The demonstration in the south-western town of Saltha ensued Monday evening after rumours spread that a man was beaten by officials who were monitoring compliance with the coronavirus lockdown, local police chief Mohammad Alimuzzaman told dpa.
The protest turned violent within hours as several thousand stick-wielding demonstrators took to the streets vandalizing a number of public offices and setting them on fire, he said.
Police fired bullets and tear gas to disperse the demonstrators who broke into a local police station at one point, an incident that left one protester dead, Alimuzzaman said.
“The bullets were fired in self-defence,” the officer said, adding several other people inclduing policemen were wounded during the clashes.
Additional police were deployed in the area as a precaution, he said.
Bangladesh on Monday began a seven-day lockdown to slow the spread of Covid-19 with many in the capital Dhaka defying the shutdown orders.
Small traders staged demonstrations in the centre of the capital on the first day of the lockdown, calling on the government to allow them to keep their businesses open as long as they followed health guidelines.
The government ordered the people to generally stay indoors and shut down means of transport and shopping malls. Factories were allowed to operate provided the owners ensure proper health measures.