Police and activists of the Left Democratic Alliance (LDA), a coalition of eight left-leaning political parties, clashed at the capital's Paltan on Monday during a half-day hartal called by the coalition against soaring commodity prices.
Police charged batons, shot tear shells, and used water cannons to disperse the crowd after hartal supporters blocked the Paltan intersection at about 11:30 am.
Later, the LDA alleged that some 50 protesters were injured in the police attacks and 24 others were arrested across the country.
The coalition also called for protests across the country tomorrow over the arrests and attacks.
Earlier in the day, the LDA supporters staged a procession in Dhaka University's TSC area and the adjacent Shahbag area before moving to the Paltan intersection.
LDA Coordinator Saiful Haque said, "We took to the streets peacefully to protest against intolerable commodity price hikes. But police and ruling party supporters attacked our processions across the country."
That is why we called for protests across the country tomorrow. We will also hold a demonstration at the Paltan intersection at 4 pm tomorrow, he added.
Shovon Rahman, general secretary of the Socialist Students' Front, told The Business Standard, "We can't accept the abnormal rise in commodity prices, which is crushing the lower and middle-class people. That is why we are staging a movement on the streets."
Rendering support to the hartal, Gano Sanghati Andolon Chief Coordinator Zonayed Saki said all the developments are meaningless if the queues of low-income people get longer and longer in front of the sales trucks of Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) for subsidised goods.
Earlier on 11 March, the LDA called a half-day hartal for 28 March over skyrocketing prices of essentials and demanded the issuance of ration cards for the people in need.
Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury, the founder of Gonoshasthaya Kendra, supported the half-day hartal of 28 March. He urged the public to support the hartal.
BNP, Gano Odhikar Parishad, and Nagorik Oikko have also supported the strike called by the left-leaning political alliance.
Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal on Thursday (24 March) called upon the opposition political parties not to cause public suffering during the hartal.