April 8 evening. Sitting in his car a little more than an hour after the daylong shutdown, Anjan Bhattacharya was worried at the thought of yet another shutdown beginning the next morning.
“Bang!” Something hit the windshield, as the car neared Shanir Akhra in the capital.
Chief financial officer of a foreign readymade garment company, the Indian national was returning to Dhaka from Narayanganj, taking advantage of the few hours before the fresh shutdown began.
“A group of 10-12 men appeared out of nowhere, throwing stones at the passing vehicles,” Anjan said.
A man with a big stick smashed the windscreen of the Toyota Allion.
“Stones were thrown at bullet speed. One of them hit the rear window and fell inside,” he said.
Several other stones hit the Tk 15-lakh car before it could manage to speed away.
Anjan has insurance coverage for the car but that does not cover damage from such political demonstrations, he said. “I had to spend Tk 20,000 to repair the damage.”
Even though he had been reading about violence and observing more severe incidents, he wondered what these people gained from such attacks.
“Who are these hooligans? Do they really belong to any political party or are they just anti-social elements? If they have any political affiliations, do their leaders instruct them to destroy properties this way? Do they have a daily target to achieve in such destruction?” he asked.
Many more questions, such as, “What if they or their comrades get hurt in such actions?” and “Are they fighting a war against some foreign intrusion?” came to his mind.
Requesting the political leaders to plead with their party men and sympathisers not to resort to violence, he said, “There is a lot of scope and many avenues where these “yuva sakti” can be positively used for the benefit of the country and all its people.”
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