Commuters were hit hard after all modes of transportation went off the streets in Barishal on Friday, just a day before a divisional rally called by opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP).
Barishal city has virtually been cut off from rest of the country after the two-day transport strike got underway on Friday. Buses, launches, speedboats, microbuses and even the three-wheeler auto-rickshaws are unavailable.
While the bus owners called the strike to demand a ban on the movement of auto-rickshaws on the highways, the three-wheelers want the authorities to allow them free movement there.
Also read: BNP activists arriving two days early to join Barishal rally
A transport strike before BNP’s anti-government divisional rallies has recently been common. Such strikes were called ahead of opposition party’s rallies in Khulna, Mymensingh and Rangpur.
BNP’s Barishal divisional rally has been called to protest against hike in fuel and essential commodities and to press home the party’s other demands including restoration of the constitutional provision of holding general election under a neutral caretaker government.
The government has denied any link with the transport strikes coinciding BNP’s rallies.
Barishal transport strike ahead of BNP rally hits commuters hard
From Friday 12 am, microbus movement from and to the district had also been shut till November 5 for indefinite reasons, confirmed Md Farid, a member of district microbus owners association.
Speedboat movement was halted on Wednesday evening while launch on Thursday morning amid BNP’s allegation that launch owners went on the sudden strike as per the government’s directive ahead of the rally slated for November 5.
Even the rental private cars refused to move on the road, according to passengers.
Many people were seen waiting at the launch terminals and bus terminal without being able to reach their destination.
Meanwhile, BNP leaders and activists started gathering at Barishal city’s Bangabandhu Park to attend the party’s divisional rally from Thursday morning, to defy all the transport bans.
Read more: BNP rally: Commuters suffer as launch, speedboat services suspended in Barishal
Barishal’s central bus terminal in Nathullabad, was overcrowded on Saturday night as hundreds of commuters arrived to leave for their destinations one day in advance, fearing the transport strike, which is set to begin from Friday morning.
“I had a plan to go to Dhaka on Friday, but I came here a day early keeping Friday’s transport strike in mind,” said Subarna Pal, a commuter.
“I’ve come here two days earlier due to the transport strike. Finding no other place, I’m staying at my relative’s house,” said Sadikur Rahman, a Jubo Dal activist from Patuakhali.
The rally in Barishal will be the 5th one by the BNP at the divisional level as four others were held in Chattogram, Mymensingh, Khulna, and Rangpur.
Source: United News of Bangladesh