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1,000 accused in cases over transport strike clashes

  • Published at 10:39 am March 2nd, 2017
  • Last updated at 07:29 pm March 2nd, 2017
1,000 accused in cases over transport strike clashes
Three cases have been filed with Dhaka’s Darus Salam police station over the clashes at Gabtoli during the countrywide transport strike Tuesday night. A total of 46 leaders and activists of transport workers’ organisations and over 1,000 unnamed others were made accused in the cases. “Two cases were lodged by the police on Wednesday night, while another was filed by a victim who faced losses due to the rampage,” DMP Assistant Commissioner (Darus Salam) Syed Mamun Mostafa told the Dhaka Tribune Thursday morning. “Police filed the cases under the Special Powers Act and the Police Act. The victim described his losses in the FIR,” Mamun added. Leaders of pro-government Bangladesh Road Transport Workers’ Federation (BRTWF) enforced the nationwide indefinite strike protesting two court verdicts that sentenced a truck driver to death on Monday and a bus driver to life in prison on February 22. The strike was called off Wednesday. The 30-hour countrywide strike caused a bus driver’s death and two lost work days for a majority of the public, and for others, hours of suffering on empty roads. Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal on Wednesday said the rampages were illegal and that legal measures would be taken against those responsible. Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan and State Minister for Rural Development Mashiur Rahman Ranga, who had backed the strike, now blame BNP-Jamaat for the clashes and vandalism at Gabtoli. Earlier, the Chuadanga transport leaders enforced an indefinite strike on February 22 demanding the release of bus driver Jamir Hossain, who was given life-term imprisonment for reckless driving which caused the deaths of five people including cinematographer Tareque Masud and journalist Mishuk Munier in Manikganj in 2011. Later Khulna transport leaders announced an indefinite strike in 10 districts of the division from February 26 but withdrew the programme after a meeting with the administration the following day. The central leaders, however, rejected the decision and declared a countrywide strike on February 27, the day when a Dhaka court sentenced a truck driver to death for intentionally killing a woman in Savar in 2003. During this time, several ministers requested transport leaders to call off the strike, suggesting that they challenge the judgements in court instead of staging demonstrations. The shipping minister, Shajahan Khan, backed the strike, terming it work abstention in protest against the verdicts which he deemed harsh. He is the executive president of the workers’ federation.