People in Narayanganj had to suffer immensely in severe gridlock for about five hours yesterday because of a rally organised by ruling Awami League men.
As the rally was scheduled for 3pm in the city's Midtown Shopping Complex area, vehicular movement on one side of the busy Bangabandhu Road remained suspended from 1pm, said locals.
As a result, vehicles, travelling on both sides, were forced to use one side only, they added, resulting in long tailbacks.
Later, AL lawmaker from Narayanganj-4 Shamim Osman, while addressing the rally against “drugs, crimes and militancy”, apologised to people for their sufferings.
“You have to suffer due to our rally. Means of transportation were not available,” said Osman, who presided over it.
Narayanganj district AL President Abdul Hai called for not organising any rally on road in future to avert public sufferings.
Visiting the area in the afternoon, this correspondent saw that four large trucks were placed on the road to make a temporary stage. Besides, several hundred chairs were placed in front of the stage, which completely closed one side of the road.
Processions of AL activists, heading towards the rally, started much earlier in the day. Police stopped vehicular movement at Chashara intersection for their smooth passage.
Due to that, tailbacks ensued on Dhaka-Pagla-Narayanganj road, Dhaka-Narayanganj Link Road, and Narayanganj-Shimrail road.
At Chashara intersection, rickshaw-van puller Shahidul Islam said usually it takes him 10 minutes to reach the intersection from DIT area. “It's been an hour, I'm still stuck here,”said a frustrated Shahidul.
Narayanganj resident Rahima Begum said she was on a rickshaw but some youths intercepted it near Second Rail Gate area, saying vehicles were not allowed to ply due to their rally. “I had to walk, but it was not easy as there was a huge rush of people,” she said.
Contacted, Inspector Sharfuddin of Narayanganj traffic police said the gridlock was created due to processions on the busy road. However, vehicular movement became normal as soon as those passed, he claimed.
He said police did not close any road but it remained closed because of the rally.