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Dhaka Tribune

A new obstacle for Dhaka-bound cattle trucks

Update : 20 Sep 2015, 07:53 PM

As if highway extortion by police and influentials, high transport cost and traffic tailback were not enough, Dhaka-bound cattle traders are facing a new kind of obstacle this year.

With cattle-laden trucks starting to enter the city in large numbers ahead of the upcoming Eid-ul-Azha, reports are coming in that traders being barred from reaching their destination markets.

This is happening especially in the outskirts of the capital city, where local political influentials and their supporters are stopping cattle-laden trucks and forcing them into markets that they have leased, instead of letting traders to go to their intended destinations.

Two days ago, Asaduzzaman Miah, commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP), advised the traders to put up banners in front of the trucks, with the name of the cattle market they are headed for, written on it.

For example, Sagar Ali, a trader from Jhenaidah who came to Dhaka yesterday with two trucks laden with cattle, was headed for the Postogola animal market in Old Dhaka. But after the trucks reached Dhupkhola, also in Old Dhaka, some young men stopped them and forced the trucks into the local cattle market.

Allegations have it that in most cases, leaders and supporters of the ruling Awami League and its youth front Jubo League are doing this.

When contacted, Moshiur Rahman Khan, a leader of Jubo League and the leaser of the Dhupkhola cattle market, denied the allegations. He said: “This is a common claim. If you go to the markets set up around Gabtoli, they would tell you that their not being able to do good business because of the Gabtoli market.”

He also claimed that all the traders who have come to his market have all come willingly.

Younus Bapari, another trader from Chapainawabganj, was headed for the cattle market set up in the Babubazar area of Dhaka with three trucks. Two of the trucks reached Babubazar all right, but the third one was stopped in front of the Hazaribagh cattle market.

Hazaribagh inhabitants said that local Jubo League men had stopped the truck.

Asked about this, Jahidul Islam Razib, leaser of the Hazaribagh cattle market, said: “In fact, we are the sufferers. We are not stopping any trucks. Rather, others are stopping trucks headed for our market.”

He also claimed that goons of the Rayerbazar cattle market had stopped two dozens of trucks, which were headed for his market.

Similar reports have come from the cattle markets in the capital’s Aftabnagar, Gabtoli, Khilkhet, Uttara and Kamraingirchar as well.

Asked about this, Muntasirul Islam, deputy commissioner of DMP, said: “Our officials have been kept on duty at all the 23 cattle markets in Dhaka to look after all kinds of problem.

“Leaders have been asked not to stop any trucks forcefully. But still, if we find anyone doing this, then necessary actions would be taken against the responsible ones,” he added. 

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