Buses go off Dhaka’s roads ahead of BNP’s rally

Buses go off Dhaka’s roads ahead of BNP’s rally

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The BNP claims that police and Awami League activists are blocking them in an attempt to diminish the public gathering at the rally.

Police have dismissed the claims, blaming transport workers for the situation. No transportation industry officials have commented on the claim.

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia is scheduled to speak at the Suhrawardy Udyan event at 2pm.

BNP activists from Dhaka city’s various wards, Savar, Gazipur and Narayanganj were to gather for the rally.

Though bus services proceeded according to schedule on Sunday morning, it soon dropped off.

Asked about the situation, transport workers say BNP activists seized the buses. Others say many decided not to run buses to avoid the BNP’s attempts to grab the vehicles.

Meghla Transport bus service from Narayanganj’s Bhulta to Gulistan’s Ashian, Glory and Kalabagan routes have been halted since the morning.

All non-freight transports to Dhaka, including all buses, are being turned away from Gazipur’s Chandana intersection.

“Police have blocked vehicles headed for Dhaka since this morning,” said Swapan, who was travelling to Dhaka from the intersection.

“Though traffic from Dhaka is uninterrupted, no vehicles are being allowed to travel to Dhaka,” said Gazipur district BNP Chairperson Fazlul Haque.

Gazipur Traffic Division ASP Saleh Uddin Ahmed told bdnews24.com that no vehicles are being prevented from travelling to Dhaka.

“The transport workers themselves have halted traffic,” he said. The police official would not comment on why this had occurred.

Bus services have been halted based on the ‘orders’ of the transport owners’ union, said Director of VIP Transport on the Dhaka-Gazipur Route Kamrul Hasan Ripon.

The transport owners’ union has not responded to the claim.

Hundreds of people were seen waiting for transport in the Kachpur and Chittagong Road areas on the Dhaka-Chittagong Highway.

Similar scenes could be seen on the Signboard, Matuail, Rayerbag, Shonir Akhra and Jatrabari areas of Narayanganj Link Road.

Though long-haul buses were operating, people were not allowed to board.

Mariyam, from Rayerbag, had to set off on foot for a hospital in Manik Nagar with a six-month-old infant.

“Occasionally you see a car go by,” she told bdnews24.com at Shonir Akhra. “But they are not taking us.”

Shonir Akhra resident Fahim said he has been waiting for transport to Gulistan for nearly an hour and a half.

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