The daily hustle and bustle of Dhaka, one of the busiest capital cities in the world, has come to grinding halt, centring the verdict in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case on February 8.
City dwellers are avoiding going outside their homes due to concerns of untoward incidents throughout the capital. The number of vehicles on city thoroughfares, both public and private, is minimal.
Transportation services based on smartphone applications, such as Pathao, Uber and Easier have suspended their services for today.
Key intersections of the city are mostly empty. Busy areas such as the Gabtoli bus stand are witnessing low traffic.
Long distance buses were seen entering the terminal but are carrying only a handful of passengers. Police are searching all vehicles entering Dhaka through Gabtoli.
Commenting on the situation, Darussalam police station Inspector Md Farukul Alam, on duty at a check post said: “The situation appears to be normal. We are searching all vehicles passing through here. Luggages in buses are also being searched. We have not detained anyone yet.”
He added: “This is a permanent check post in Gabtoli. We conduct regular checking here, but today [February 8] we are being extra vigilant.”
Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) and the police were seen patrolling the Gabtoli bus terminal.
Speaking to the correspondent, RAB-2 Additional Superintendent of Police Sajedul Islam said: “The situation is quite well. However, the people seem deeply concerned. There are enough buses, but the number of passengers is low.”
The capital’s Mirpur area, espeically Mirpur 6, 10, 11, 13, 14 and Bhasantek, is witnessing a minimal number of vehicles on the streets. A large number of police and Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) members were seen patrolling the streets.
Students and office workers were seen waiting for buses.
Farmgate and Shahbagh areas, which are usually swarmed by people on a regular day, remain almost empty as the day progresses. A large number of policemen was also deployed in the area to avert any untoward incident.
The number of public transports around Dhaka University is quite low.
Similar is the scenario in the Sadarghat area. Many launches are waiting on the docks, but not many passengers are showing up.
The launches are leaving the port on time, even with a small number of passengers.
Naval Police Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Sheikh Mohammad Maruf Hasan told the correspondent that no untoward incidents have been reported in the area yet.
This article was first published on banglatribune.com