Reazuddin Bazar still tense
As the section 144, clamped following a clash between hawkers and traders on Thursday, continued for the second day yesterday Reazuddin Bazar and its adjoining areas wore a deserted look.
The section 144 had been in force from 6:00pm of Thursday in and around Reazuddin Bazar, Station Road, New Market and Amtala areas. The clash left 22 people, including seven policemen, injured.
Traders' leaders yesterday urged the authorities concerned to free the main entry to Reazuddin Bazar and evict illegal occupants from its adjoining areas and pavements.
The hawkers, on the other hand, vowed to wage a movement until their problem is solved.
None has been arrested so far in the three cases filed in connection with the incidents.
Meanwhile, leaders of Reazuddin Bazar Banik Samity and Tamakumandi Lane Banik Samity held a meeting with Chittagong City Corporation Mayor ABM Mohiuddin Chowdhury to reach a settlement on Thursday evening.
The mayor assured the traders of solving their problem, said Reazuddin Bazar Banik Samity President Salamat Ali.
Bangladesh Shop Owners Association of Chittagong also held a meeting at a local hotel yesterday evening.
Central leaders of the organisation from Dhaka attended the meeting to discuss the situation and decide on the next course of action, said the sources.
“We may go for tough programme unless the problem is resolved,” said Salamat, also general secretary of Bangladesh Shop Owners Association of Chittagong.
Hawkers' leaders, on the other hand, at a press conference yesterday termed the clash a plot to divert the attention of people from the execution of the killers of Bangabandhu.
At the press conference at Chittagong Press Club they said that hawker-trader row was nothing new and on all the previous occasions it used to be settled through negotiation.
They further alleged that the hawkers belonging to Hawkers League were mostly affected as their shops were burnt to ashes during the clash.
Chattagram Hawkers Oikya Parishad General Secretary Nurul Alam read out a written statement at the press conference where Oikya Parishad President Hrishi Biswash, Chittagong Mahanagar Sammilito Hawkers Federation President Sahabuddin Niru, General Secretary Masud Rana and Mahanagar Hawkers League General Secretary Noor Ahmad Chowdhury were also present.
Earlier, the clash ensued Wednesday evening when some hawkers assaulted Reazuddin Bazar Banik Samity President Salamat Ali as he asked them not to occupy the adjacent footpath and block the main entry to Reazuddin Bazar.