The Bangladesh Mangsho Byabshayi Samiti (Bangladesh Meat Seller’s Association) and the Dhaka Metropolitan Mangsho Byabshayi Samiti (Dhaka Metropolitan Meat Seller’s Association) jointly announced the strike from February 13 Monday till February 18 Saturday at a press briefing at the National Press Club on Sunday.
The meat sellers alleged the Dhaka North City Corporation was not properly maintaining Gabtoli cattle market – the major hub of cattle sales in Dhaka.
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A butcher's shop in Dhaka displaying the flanks of slaughtered cows Rajib Dhar/Dhaka Tribune
They further alleged the leaseholders were extorting cattle merchants and had even hired enforcers to threaten people if they refuse to pay.
Robiul Islam, general secretary of the Bangladesh Mangsho Byabshayi Samiti, alleged that they have to pay between Tk20,000-Tk30,000 as extortion money to bring each cow from the borders to Dhaka, and further excessive revenue to leaseholders of the cattle markets.
In addition, they said DNCC Mayor Annisul Huq and other officials have been informed of the situation and the stance of the meat sellers.
The leaders of the red meat cooperatives also threatened to expand their strike nationwide indefinitely if the government does not intervene within six days.