Rajshahi ‘quarantined’ day before opposition rally

Rajshahi ‘quarantined’ day before opposition rally

Staff Correspondent . Dhaka/ Rajshahi |  Nov 09, 2018   Prothom Alo

The bus service with Rajshahi from 12 districts including Dhaka, Pabna, Natore was halted for almost 12 hours on Thursday without any prior announcement, subjecting commuters to tremendous trouble throughout day. Photo: Prothom AloThe major opposition and Jatiya Oikya Front ally Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) alleged that bus service from 12 districts with Rajshahi was halted in order to obstruct the Oikya Front’s rally scheduled on Friday.

Jatiya Oikya Front (National Unity Front) is to hold a public rally at around 2:00pm at the Madrasa grounds in Rajshahi.

The bus service with Rajshahi from 12 districts including Dhaka, Pabna, Natore was halted for almost 12 hours on Thursday without any prior announcement, subjecting commuters to tremendous trouble throughout day.

Members of Natore Bus Owners Association and Rajshahi Transport Workers Union have given contradictory statements in this connection.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Oikya Front organised a rally in Suhrawardy Udyan in the capital. A number of vehicles were prevented from entering Dhaka for ‘security reasons’ on the day.

Passengers and vehicles drivers complained that they had to face interminable traffic congestion due to the police checks along the way. Also, bus movement was closed at one stage on the Dhaka-Chittagong Highway in the Signboard area at the time.

Earlier, BNP chairperson’s adviser Mizanur Rahman Minu talked to the media in a press conference at Rajshahi BNP’s office at noon on Thursday.

“We got written permission for the rally on 12 conditions just 14 hours before the due date. Bus service was halted to hamper the gathering,” Minu told the media.

Alleging that the police have been arresting BNP leaders and activists ahead of the rally, the adviser to the BNP chairperson said, “Police raided the houses of hundreds of BNP leaders and activists. Some over enthusiastic and ambitious police officers are creating obstacles before the rally in many ways.”

In response to BNP’s allegations, Rajshahi metropolitan police spokesman Ifte Khair Alam said, the police were performing their regular duties and were not creating any obstacle. There was no incident of politically motivated arrests.

Natore Bus Owners’ Association general secretary Sajidul Islam told Prothom Alo that they received a letter from the transport workers union saying a bus driver of Desh Travels was assaulted on Wednesday and they would close the bus service until legal action was taken.

However, when the Prothom Alo correspondent contacted Desh Travels counter officials, they said that they did not know of any such incident of a driver being assaulted.

Meanwhile, several bus drivers told Prothom Alo that they started out with passengers from Rangpur in the morning. After reaching Bogura, the owners and workers blocked their buses.

A transport owner of Bogura said on condition of anonymity that police and Awami League-backed transport owners had restricted them to drive to Rajshahi.

Bogura highway police denied such allegations.

On the other hand, the convener of Rajshahi District Motor Workers Union Kamal Hossain said, the bus service was halted due to the dispute between the two Bus Owners’ Association of Rajshahi and Natore.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *