Thousands of passengers suffered a lot due to a sudden indefinite bus strike in five districts of Barisal division yesterday.
Bus owners and workers under the banner of “Barisal Divisional Bus Malik-Shramik Samity Samannaya Parishad” enforced the strike in the morning, demanding arrest of those who allegedly attacked a bus owners' association leader and a stop to three-wheeler operation on highways.
Our Jhalakathi correspondent reports, due to the strike in Barisal, Jhalakathi, Barguna, Pirojpur and Patuakhali, communication among the five districts and with Dhaka were disrupted.
As the passengers did not find alternative transports, they were seen standing on roads as well as bus stations.
“I wanted to go to Barisal for a doctor's appointment, but there is no vehicle,” said Rafiqul Islam, who was waiting with his sister for a bus in Rajapur area.
Similar statements came from Nazneen Aktar who was waiting for a long time at Bagri station in Rajapur.
College teachers Kartik Chandra Das and Maksuda Aktar also narrated their sufferings in the area.
On Tuesday, several drivers of three-wheelers attacked Nazrul Islam Khokon, president of Barisal Bus Owners Association, at Rupatoli Bus Stand in Barisal while he was attending a demonstration against such light vehicles, said Bahadur, secretary of Jhalakathi Bus Sramik Union Samity.
Our Barisal correspondent reports, Kawsar Hossain Shipon, secretary of Barisal-Patuakhali Bus-Minibus Workers' Association, said they would continue the strike until the demands are met.
He said they also demanded putting a stop to plying of vehicles that have no registration and fitness.
Meanwhile, Sabiha Begum, a passenger, who failed to go to her Bauphal residence in Patuakhali, said, “I did not know about such a strike.”
Mohammad Monir Hossain, additional district magistrate, said to resolve the crisis, a meeting between police and district administration and bus owners was being held till 8:30pm at Barisal Circuit House.
Our Patuakhali correspondent adds, many passengers at Patuakhali Bus Stand tried in vain to go to their respective destinations as they were unaware of the strike.