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3-day blockade begins today in Bangladesh

Publication Date : 07-12-2013


Traffic in the capital and elsewhere went haywire yesterday as people, who had been restricted from their usual lifestyle due to the six-day blockade last week, poured out from their homes to attend to their commitments and necessities and reach their destinations before the fresh spell of 72-hour blockade beginning this morning.

Following the 131-hour blockade that ended at 5:00pm on Thursday, the Bangladesh opposition party BNP-led opposition combine again called a 72-hour blockade from 6:00am today across the country.

Prior to the fresh spell of blockade, miscreants set fire to two buses at Badda in the capital and near Jahangirnagar University in Savar yesterday afternoon. However, none was hurt in the incidents.

Meanwhile, Dhaka city unit BNP has called a 24-hour hartal in the city from 6:00am tomorrow to protest the arrest and remand of the party’s Vice-president Sadeque Hossain Khoka.

In a desperate attempt to make up for the disturbances caused by the blockade last week, many schools, colleges and universities remained open on the weekend for holding pending exams and classes while commercial banks kept their branches open to cater to the needs of customers, as directed by Bangladesh Bank.

And with only 35 hours interval between the two spells of blockade, city dwellers scrambled to finish their emergencies creating unusual traffic congestions at different parts of the city.

“It took me over forty minutes to get from Dhanmondi Road 1 to Road 28,” said Razia while dropping her third-grader son to a school in the area.

The flow of passengers at bus, train and launch terminals in the capital was unusually higher than any other Friday in recent times as people, who were stranded in the city for six days last week, were frantically trying to reach their destinations before the beginning of the latest spell of blockade.

Many people were seen returning to the capital as well after having been stranded in different places of the country due to the last week’s blockade.

“I went to Kishoreganj to bring my family to Dhaka but got stuck there for six days due to the blockade,” said rickshaw-puller Rahmat Ali while talking to this correspondent at Kamalapur Railway Station after boarding off a train yesterday morning.

Though banks in the capital saw a relatively low turnout of customers at some branches, they could refill the ATM booths which were left empty during the six-day blockade last week due to what they say- security concerns.

A large number of traders, who rely on the wholesale markets of the capital for their supplies, were found purchasing goods in different markets of the city.

“Though I tried a few times, I could not come to Shyambazar to purchase turmeric due to the blockade,” said Anowar Hossain, a small trader from Gazipur.



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