Hartal gets poor public response

DHAKA The dawn-to-dusk hartal in the capital today, called by BNP rejecting the results of Saturday's Dhaka city elections, failed to draw public response as the city life was almost normal.

No major untoward incidents were reported from any corner of the city during the shutdown enforced from 6am to 6pm.

A few number of BNP leaders and activists brought out a procession early in the morning in support of the hartal in front of the party's Nayapaltan central office.

BNP leaders and activists were scarcely seen on the streets.

During the hartal, vehicular movement in the city streets was normal, while law enforcers took position at different strategic points to fend off any trouble. Rickshaws and auto-rickshaws dominated the streets in the morning.

Intercity long-route buses left Mohakhali, Sayedabad and Gabtoli terminals since morning while the train, launch and air services remained normal.

Public and private offices, markets and shopping malls remained open during the hartal.

BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir went to the party's Nayapaltan office in the morning while few party leaders and activists led by Senior Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi took position in front of the office since morning.

BNP's defeated mayoral candidate for Dhaka South City Corporation polls Ishraq Hossain also came to BNP office to join the protest.

Around 11:50 am, DMP's Motijheel Zone Assistant Commissioner Jahidul Islam asked the protesting BNP leaders and activists to leave the place within half an hour. Then Ruhul Kabir Rizvi Ahmed sought 10 minutes from the police but he ended the programme within a moment before 12 noon.

Earlier, Jatiya Oikyafront, led by Dr Kamal Hossain, extended its support to the BNP's hartal.

Awami League nominees Atiqul Islam and Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh were elected mayors unofficially in the Saturday's polls to hold the offices of Dhaka North City Corporation and Dhaka South City Corporation respectively.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)