A minister and a state minister is behind the nationwide transport strike, says senior BNP leader Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.
His remarks came on Wednesday during a discussion organised by the party.
“The man, who is behind this transport strike, is an influential minister of the government; not only him, there is also a state minister backing him. They created the chaos to pursue their own interests and people suffered.”
Transport workers across Bangladesh went on an indefinite strike from Tuesday, crippling the country.
After the strike entered a second day on Wednesday, Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan, who also heads the apex transport workers’ union, called for end to the strike after what he said ‘receiving the government’s assurance.’
Speaking at the discussion at the Press Club auditorium, BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul said, “When I was coming here from Uttara, I did not see any bus or public transports on the road.
“Even women were seen walking to their destinations. Yesterday workers clashed with police at Gabtali and today one of them died after police opened fire.”
He said that it seems there’s no government in the country. “What we have is something like an occupation force; there’s no government representing the people.”
Transport workers took to the streets when a Manikganj court sentenced a bus driver to life in prison for a 2011 accident that killed celebrated filmmaker Tareque Masud, ATN News CEO Mishuk Munier and three others.
Workers in Chuadanga first started a strike. Those in 10 districts of Khulna Division joined them on Sunday.
The authorities negotiated with the striking workers in Khulna on Sunday and announced that they had agreed to withdraw the strike.
But later, the workers, agitated by another verdict sentencing a truck driver to death for running over and killing a woman in Savar, denied any such agreement on withdrawing the strike.
Earlier on Monday night, the transport owners held a meeting with the workers in Dhaka.
On Tuesday, the strike spread across the country, which continued till Wednesday.
After Minister Shajahan Khan and State Minister Mashiur Rahman Ranga met with representatives of several bodies of owners and workers, Khan said they have received the government’s assurance and called for an end to the strike.
Khan is the executive president of the apex union Bangladesh Transport Workers’ Federation while Ranga is the president of Bangladesh Road Transport Owners Association.