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Police quell Bangladesh mobe riot

Cut-price phone promotion ends in anarchy

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A cut-price mobile phone promotion in Bangladesh ended in anarchy after application forms for the Teletalk Bangladesh deal ran out, provoking a riot in the capital Dhaka. Thousands of people who had queued in inclement weather expressed their dissatisfaction with the cock-up, and were baton-charged by police for their trouble.

According to the BBC, Teletalk managing director, M Obaidullah, said: "1,900 connections were offered on the first day from 11 outlets". However, an angry businessman estimated one queue at 5,000 eager would-be customers, with just "a few dozen forms" to feed demand. Shafiqur Rahman told AFP: "They cheated us. They should have said that only a few hundred would be on offer on the first day."

For his part, Obaidullah admitted: "We did not realise that people would respond so overwhelmingly." He added that the company expected low take-up of the offer due to an ongoing national strike. He promised to make more forms available by Saturday. ®

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