Many opposition politicians went into hiding Saturday as Bangladeshi security forces took up strategic positions in the capital after the reimposition of military rule by President Hussain Mohammed Ershad.
Relatives of the politicians said police raided their homes but arrived too late to find the people they were seeking.
Security forces patrolled the main streets of this capital city to prevent trouble after Ershad announced Friday night that he had banned all political activity, closed the six universities and reappointed army generals as martial-law administrators.
He also announced a referendum for March 21 on support for continued military rule until a civilian government can be formed through an election.
Ershad came to power in a military coup in 1982. Last year, he began moves toward a gradual return to civilian rule.