Several hundred truckers and helpers of Chattogram city blocked the airport road in Saltgola area yesterday, protesting the murder of a fellow driver the day before.
The blockade lasted for about 30 minutes and created gridlocks on both sides of the busy road. It was withdrawn after police gave assurance of bringing the killer to book.
Driver Shahjahan Saju, 48, was shot inside a motor garage in Sitakunda upazila around 2:00pm on Wednesday. With a bullet wound to the abdomen, he was first taken to a local hospital and then to Chattogram Medical College Hospital where he died.
The garage belongs to flatbed trailer rental firm Tahsin Enterprise, which is owned by lawmaker Didarul Alam of Chattogram-4 (Sitakunda and parts of the port city).
The victim’s wife Shahida Akhter filed a case on Wednesday night accusing one Md Masum of the garage. However, police could not arrest him yet.
Leaders of Chattogram Prime Mover Trailer Workers Union, the organiser of the protest, said Masum worked as a supervisor at the garage.
Saiful Alam, a sub-inspector of Sitakunda Police Station, said Saju was allegedly shot by Masum, 28, following an altercation between them inside the garage.
Masum fled the scene immediately after the shooting, he added.
Abu Bakkar Siddique, general secretary of the trailer workers union, claimed that Saju was vocal in demanding overtime arrears from Tahsin Enterprise.
Meanwhile, the drivers of Tahsin Enterprise said they will launch an indefinite work stoppage today demanding arrest of the accused.
Talking to The Daily Star, lawmaker Didarul Alam said, “I have more than a hundred prime movers under Tahsin Enterprise, and these vehicles get fixed at the garage.”
“The accused Masum used to work as a mechanic at my garage on call. I don’t know the motive behind the murder but asked police to arrest him immediately because my employees are getting agitated and feeling insecure,” he added.
Saju was a father of three and his family lives in Begumganj upazila of Noakhali, but he used to stay in a mess in Sitakunda for work.