Dhaka – Transport workers on Wednesday clashed with law enforcement in Dhaka as the nationwide strike called by them entered into its second day causing immense suffering to the commuters, police said.
Police fired teargas and rubber bullets to disperse crowds of workers who blocked a main road in Gabtoli neighbourhood and prevented vehicles to let go and enter the city.
Several agitators were arrested while some others sustained injuries during the hour-long clash that erupted in the morning at Gabtoli Bus Terminal. The workers and police also locked in clashes on Tuesday night at the same place.
The pro-government transport workers federation called the strike to protest a court verdict that convicted a bus driver, Jamir Hossain, for killing five people including noted Bangladeshi filmmaker Tareque Masud in an accident in 2011.
They demanded release of the driver.
No inter‐district bus left from Gabtoli, Mohakhali or Sayedabad terminals in the morning.
As very few buses were seen plying the road throughout the city, the commuters suffers enormous hardships to reach their respective destinations. Hundreds of commuters were seen either waiting other mode of transportation or walking to reach short destinations.
Few rickshaws and CNG‐run auto‐rickshaw were seen plying on the road, but the commuters were charged excessive fares for their destinations.
“Bangladesh seems taken hostage by a class of vested quarters,” a commuter told newsnextbd.com.
Khandaker Enayet Ullah, secretary general of Bangladesh Road Transport Workers Federation, said they will keep on enforcing the strike until the government fulfills their demands.
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.
Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan, also the executive president of the Workers’ Federation, expressed solidarity with the workers saying that the workers have every 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 Tareque 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.