• Wednesday, Nov 21, 2018
  • Last Update : 05:56 pm

Gulistan turns into a battlefield again

  • Published at 10:59 pm June 10th, 2016
  • Last updated at 02:13 pm June 15th, 2016

For two days in a row, hawkers and shop owners of Dhaka Trade Centre have battled it out at Gulistan over setting up of shops on the footpath. Police say have arrested about 100 men from the scene during Friday's clash but are yet to press charges. After Thursday's clash, the two groups were trying to settle the issue in the morning to avert tension between them. However, at one point in the meeting, hawkers started to beatup shop owners and the market's staffs which fueled Friday's argument, witnesses said. Following the scuffle, the owners and staffs took shelter inside the market and started to hurl bricks at the hawkers, who fought back throwing bricks at the market. During the two-hour skirmish that started around noon, the two groups chased and counter-chased hurling bricks, disrupting vehicular movement in the area for a second day. Police came to the scene and lobbed teargas canisters, fired rubber bullets and unleashed water cannons to disperse the two sides, following which the traffic in the area resumed around 2pm. Deputy Commissioner Anowar Hossain of police's Motijheel division was hit on his head by a brick. He was later treated at the Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH). Hawker Bilal Hossain and shoe shop owner Nazrul Islam, who were injured in the clash, also received primary treatment at DMCH. “About 100 men have been arrested from the scene and taken to the police station,” Morshed Alam, officer-in-charge of Paltan police station, told the Dhaka Tribune. He said they would take action against those who were involved in the incident. They would identify the instigators and release the rest, he added. The OC also said that additional police have been deployed in the area to keep the situation under control. The shop owners claimed that the hawkers were occupying the road in front of the trade centre, hampering businesses. On the other hand, the hawkers argue that their “small shops” did not create problems for others. Dhaka South City Corporation Mayor Sayeed Khokon conducted an eviction drive in the area on Thursday. DMP Commissioner Asaduzzaman Mia visited the area and said the hawkers had been removed from there to ensure hassle-free movement of pedestrians. He warned against creating obstacles and said the capital would be made hawker-free in phases.