Thousands in and outside Dhaka suffered badly due to unavailability of transport yesterday.
To obstruct people of other districts from joining a BNP-led 18-party alliance rally in the capital, the administration and ruling party men directed transport owners to suspend the operation of vehicles.
Services of Dhaka-bound launches remained suspended since Sunday evening till yesterday afternoon.
Although a few buses left the capital during the first half of yesterday, passengers faced difficulties to come to the city from outside as most highway buses were kept off the routes.
Inside the city, people waited for hours at different points to get a ride.
“We have verbal direction from administration to reduce the number of Dhaka-bound trips from other parts of the country,” said a leader of Mohakhali Bus Terminal Sarak Paribahan Malik Samity.
Besides, many suspended bus operation fearing damage of their vehicles and losses due to BNP men’s attempt to travel free, claimed owners.
“A BNP leader paid for two tickets, but he along with his followers occupied 40 seats on Sunday. In this situation, I have nothing to do but suspend the operation,” said a bus owner of Dhaka-Bogra route.
Almost all transport owners have faced such problems, he said.
An Eagle Paribahan official claimed pro-ruling party transport workers in Barisal forced them to suspend bus operation between Dhaka and Barisal till 2:00pm yesterday.
Some owners alleged an artificial tailback has been created near Paturia-Daulatdia ferry terminals since Sunday night to cause a delayed entry of passenger buses into Dhaka.
Many passengers walked long distances because of the transport crisis.
“I waited Shahbagh for two hours, but failed to catch a bus. Finally, I have come to my office at Sukrabad on foot,” said Abdullah Al Sakib, a private organisation employee.
Shakil Mahmud, who came from Narayanganj with his mother to consult doctors at Birdem Hospital, said, “I have been standing for more than one and a half hours with my sick mother, but got not bus or auto-rickshaw. I never faced such sufferings in my life.”
Those who managed to reach Dhaka using alternative means of transport got in trouble with their luggage.
“I have come from Satkhira encountering a lot of difficulties. Now I am waiting here for two hours but getting no transport,” said Chand Miah at Gabtoli bus station around 1:00am.
However, the situation started easing in the afternoon.
The river communication of different districts, including Barisal and Munshiganj, with Dhaka had been cut from Sunday evening till 2:00pm yesterday.
“Local administration did not allow any launch to leave Barisal terminal for Dhaka on Sunday evening,” alleged Badiuzzaman Badal, senior vice president of Bangladesh Inland Waterways (passenger carrier’s) Association.
However, launches on Chandpur-Dhaka and Sariatpur-Dhaka routes plied amid tight police patrolling.
The pro-Awami League workers union at Sadarghat did not allow to anchor any launch at the terminal till 2:00pm, claimed Badal.
Both road and river communications with Dhaka remained snapped since Sunday evening, our Barisal correspondent reports.
No buses operated on the Munshiganj-Dhaka route from yesterday morning to noon and police did not allow anchoring any passenger vessel at Mawa ghat yesterday morning, our Munshiganj correspondent reports.
Our Narayanganj and Manikganj correspondents wrote vehicular movement from the two districts to Dhaka remained suspended from yesterday morning to noon.
Our Chandpur correspondent reports, vehicles from the district to Dhaka remained suspended but launches were seen operating.
Allegation has been raised against police to force launch owners to stop launch operation, our correspondent reports from Madaripur.
In the meantime, law enforcers arrested Nine BNP-Jamaat activists from Khulna, forty four from Comilla, seven from Munshiganj and eighteen from Sirajganj, reports the district correspondents.
Police headquarters sources said in 24 hours from Sunday 6:00am, law enforcers picked up people 3,665 and usually the number of arrestees a day is 2,250.
Source: The Daily Star