DEMAND FOR RELEASING DRUG TRADERS Medicine traders threaten strike for Thursday

In this September 28 photo, Rab personnel are seen detaining drug traders during a raid at Mitford. Photo: Banglar Chokh

In this September 28 photo, Rab personnel are seen detaining drug traders during a raid at Mitford.

Medicine traders have threatened the government with a daylong strike Thursday if their fellows, who were arrested during Saturday’s drive at Mitford in the capital, are not released by that time.

All medicine shops across the country will remain closed from 6:00am to 10:00pm Thursday if the government does not release the arrestees and open the shops, which were sealed off during Saturday’s joint drive, said Sadiqur Rahman, said president of Bangladesh Chemists and Druggists Samity (BCDS).

He was talking to reporters after a meeting at BCDS Bhaban at Mitford Monday.

In the meeting, the traders, who kept their shops shut since Sunday protesting the drive, decided to reopen their shops 2:00pm Monday.

They however threatened to go for tougher movement if their demands are not met by Thursday.

On Saturday, 94 people were arrested and 28 shops were sealed off on charge of selling fake and unauthorised medicine at Mitfort, in the country’s largest hub of wholesale medicine.

Out of 94 arrestees, 22 are still serving different terms in jail, whereas the remaining 72 were freed after realising fines from them.

Around 2,000 medicine shops in 43 markets at Mitford were kept shut since Sunday in protest against the drive.

During the joint drive, members of Rapid Action Battalion-10, the Directorate General of Drug Administration (DGDA), and Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution (BSTI), seized medicine worth Tk 5 crore.

The traders alleged that the Rab personnel had harassed them, arrested their fellow traders, and seized their goods indiscriminately.

Source: The Daily Star

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