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Rumours of a salt price hike grip Dhaka city

  • Published at 09:51 pm November 19th, 2019
People swarm a store to buy salt in Dhaka on Tuesday, November 19, 2019 Dhaka Tribune

The police have been instructed to go to markets to check the artificial salt crisis so that no one can instigate chaos

Rumours have been spreading across markets in Dhaka about a salt crisis and rising prices. It is alleged that traders are selling salt at a higher price to the general public to cash in on the rumours.

The rumours of a price hike in the salt markets, amid the already high price of onions, has sparked anger among ordinary citizens.  

The police have been instructed to go to markets to check the artificial salt crisis so that no one can instigate chaos.

Upon instruction, police are visiting shops to look for salt hoarding and to talk to traders. 

The information was revealed after Dhaka Tribune contacted the officers-in-charge (OC) of various police stations under the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP).

Rupnagar Police OC Abul Kalam Azad informed Dhaka Tribune that a shopkeeper has been detained for selling salt at a higher price than the rest of the market. He was later released with an undertaking.

He also said: “Our mobile team is working on the field so that there is no disturbance in the salt market. Also, we are keeping an eye on whether anyone is selling the commodity at a higher price.”

Police Headquarters SP (Media) Sohel Rana requested everyone to not pay heed to rumours about salt and to not panic about the scarcity of salt since there is enough supply to meet demands.

“If anyone is asked to pay an exorbitant sum of salt, please call 999 or call the closest police station to report the unscrupulous trader immediately,” he added.  

Meanwhile, DMP’s Executive Magistrate Abdullah Al Mamun conducted raids in Nayabazar, Old Dhaka, on Tuesday evening. He said four shops were fined around Tk60,000 for selling salt at a price higher than the market. 

Furthermore, he confirmed another raid by a mobile court in Nazirabazar. 

“Details about the raid will be revealed when it is completed,” Mamun added.   

Sources said that police have detained five for selling salt at a high price from Dhanmondi and Hazaribagh. However, the concerned police stations denied this.

After visiting several areas of Dhaka, it was found that people rushed to shops to buy salt, leading to most shops running out of the commodity.

The general public are engaging in conversation centering salt in most localities, intersections, and tea shops. They are worried about the current situation and believe the government should hold accountable, individuals and syndicates responsible for triggering this salt ‘crisis.’