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Bangladesh authorities cuts power supply to Ex-PM Zia's house

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Dhaka (Jan. 31, 2015): Bangladesh authorities today cut the power supply to opposition leader Khaleda Zia's home after she called a 72-hour nationwide strike beginning tomorrow which coincides with the school exams of over 1.5 million students.

"There has been no electricity since 2:37am (local time)...they have cut the line," an aide of the ex-premier said at her house cum office where Zia has been staying constantly since January 4 to spearhead the campaign against her arch rival Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's government.

Zia's Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) alleged that the state-run Dhaka Electric Supply Company disconnected the power lines to her upmarket Gulshan office early this morning in an apparent bid to force her to call off the scheduled strike.

The BNP's call for a 72-hour nationwide anti-government strike coincides with the countrywide Secondary School Certificate exams where over 1.5 million children will appear, forcing parents to stage a protest outside Zia's house.

Witnesses and TV footages showed a huge number of grim faced school children accompanied by their guardians staging a human chain protest carrying placards on the street in front of Zia's office, demanding withdrawal of the call to enable them to take part in the crucial public exams.

The anti-government strike aims to intensify pressures on the government to hold fresh elections a year after last year's polls which BNP had boycotted over its disputes with ruling Awami League on the polls time interim government system.

At least 42 people have been killed so far in violence during anti-government protests that took place following BNP's call for a nationwide non-stop blockade from January 6 after authorities barred its chief Zia from joining a protest rally to mark the first anniversary of the last year's divisive January 5 polls.