Leaders of Bangladesh Hawker Sangram Parishad urged Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to consider their situation
Hawkers and rickshaw pullers will resist the current eviction initiative launched by Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) from Dhaka streets if they are not provided with proper rehabilitation.
Several street vendors and rickshaw pullers threatened the authorities concerned that they will go on protest and counter DNCC eviction drives, with a human chain program in front of the National Press Club under the banner of Bangladesh Hawker Sangram Parishad on Saturday.
They demanded the withdrawal of the eviction process without a safe and permanent rehabilitation according to the manifesto of the ruling party.
Convener of the platform Abul Hossain said: “Awami League, in their election manifesto said, proper arrangements for the poor would be made.
"Does ‘settlement’ mean ‘eviction’ to the Awami League government?”
Threatening that the protesting hawkers and rickshaw pullers will go to court for justice if necessary, he said: “Eviction without rehabilitation can be compared to contempt of court and DNCC is doing just that. No one, whether it be different governments, mayors, the police, or even army-backed caretaker governments, have been able to evict us without a proper settlement.
"The same goes for the incumbent government."
Echoing the same, President of Hawker Sangram Parishad Arif Chowdhury said: “We earn our own living and without any loans from banks. But this sector has been attacked again and again despite this being our sole source of livelihood.
"This is a human rights violation."
“Despite us reducing the size of our businesses by two-thirds, and notifying the mayor and police regarding our situation, no effective steps were taken for our rehabilitation.
"Rather, we have been charged with batons every time," he added.
Taking the discussion further, Kamal Siddique said: “Where will the hawkers and rickshaw pullers of this city go and what will they do if there isn’t a proper rehabilitation plan for them?
"I would like to request our premier to consider our situation."
Earlier in February, before being elected as DNCC mayor, Atiqul Islam in his election manifesto promised the hawkers of the city a proper rehabilitation program so that the footpaths are kept free for the use of pedestrians.