Dhaka – Pro-government Transport Workers’ Federation has announced a nationwide strike to protest against the life in jail of a bus driver over the death of five people including noted Bangladeshi filmmaker Tareque Masud.
Tens of thousands of travelers have been suffering on different bus stops as the transport strike began on a short notice. The indefinite transport strike began at 6am.
Earlier on February 22, a court in Manikganj district sentenced driver Jamir Hossain to life in prison over the death of award-winning Bangladeshi filmmaker Tareque Masud and four others in a tragic road crash near the capital Dhaka in 2011.
The move came at an emergency meeting of the federation at city’s Motijheel office on Monday night in response to a lower court verdict, Khulna divisional coordinator of the federation Abdur Rahim Baksh Dudu said.
As no long route buses or vehicles left the capital Dhaka so it was almost disconnected from the country with no passenger being able to travel by road.
In several districts, workers stopped vehicle movement on highways and even prevented plying of the trucks and lorries.
Some commuters described the strike as anti-people since it caused hellish and unbound suffering for the common people who need to leave Dhaka and to come to the capital urgently for different important purposes.
Earlier on Sunday, the transport workers enforced strike in 10 districts of south-western Khulna division to protest the same. The strike was called off on Monday after meeting between transport workers and district administration.
But the central leaders of the federation discarded the withdrawal decision.
On Sunday, Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan, executive president of the Workers’ Federation, expressed solidarity with the programme saying that the workers have right to protest.
Roads and Bridge affairs Minister Obaidul Quader, however, termed the strike as illogical. He called the protesters to withdraw it as soon as possible as it was creating immense hardships for the commuters.
Additional session judge in Manikganj Al Mahmud Faizul Kabir on January 22 handed down the punishment to Jamir Hossain, the driver of the bus that crashed onto the minibus carrying filmmaker Masud, chief executive officer of private television channel ATN News Mishuk Munier and their associates.
The accident occurred on 13 August in 2011 on Dhaka-Aricha Highway in Ghior sub-district of central Manikganj district killing the five.
The film director won the International Critic’s Award at the Cannes Film Festival in 2002 for his feature film Matir Moina (Clay Bird).
The film, about events leading to the Bangladesh’s war of liberation, also won the Fipresci award at Cannes for its “authentic, moving and delicate portrayal of a country struggling for its democratic rights.”