Vehicular movement resumes | The Daily Star
12:49 PM, March 01, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 08:56 PM, March 01, 2017

Vehicular movement resumes after Minister Shajahan’s call

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After countrywide public suffering and clashes with police, Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan has urged workers to “go back to work” citing of “assurances from the government”.

And, after the call of the minister, who is also a top transport leader, long haul buses have started faring from Dhaka’s Gabtoli – the place that was riddled with clashes earlier today.

The minister placed the call towards striking transport workers after an internal meeting of the transport leaders, which followed another inter-ministerial meeting on this issue.

Transport workers blockading the Dhaka-Chittagong highway and burning a tyre in show of agitation near Shonir Akhra on March 1, 2017, during a countrywide transport strike. Photo: Prabir Das

At Gabtoli, Dhaka District Transport Workers’ Union Executive Member Jahangir Alam told The Daily Star that transport leaders have received instructions to resume services.

The first bus to depart from Gabtoli was SK Enterprise, which left at 3:20pm for Manikganj. The second bus of Shammi Paribahan, destined for Paturia, was calling for passengers.

Transport leader calls out to ‘lift strike’

Minister Shajahan Khan, also the executive president of Bangladesh Road Transport Workers Association, placed the call at a press briefing at Bangladesh Sarak Paribahan Malik Samity office in Motijheel.

“Realising the reality of the transport owners and workers, the two ministers have assured that they will proceed legally to confront the prevailing situation,” Shajahan Khan said.

“I believe, country’s transportation system will become normal following our request, he added.

Policemen and volunteers clearing the road obstacles at Gabtoli as long-haul buses prepare to depart. Photo: Rafiul Islam

Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader and Law Minister Anisul Huq have assured me that the government will extend its support on the legal procedures, he said.

The first meeting took place at Road Transport and Bridges Ministry between its Minister Obaidul Quader, Law Minister Anisul Huq, Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan, and State Minister for Rural Development & Co-operatives Division Moshiur Rahman Ranga.

Yesterday, transport workers took their protests to a bigger scale protesting conviction of two fellow drivers and leaving commuters stranded in Dhaka and all over the country.

Last night, violence ensued in Gabtoli where law enforcers and transport workers stood in a tense standoff – a heat that ensued this morning and resulted in one worker being shot who later succumbed to his injuries at Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH).

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