Some of the Hefazat-e-Islam leaders said they want to extend the strike till Monday
The countrywide dawn-to-dusk general strike on Sunday enforced by Hefazat-e-Islam, protesting against the killing of its activists by police, failed to make an impact on people’s daily lives in Dhaka.
However, the number of private vehicles on the streets was lower in the morning but increased by the afternoon.
The Dhaka Tribune reporter visited several spots, including Hatirjheel, Rampura, Khilgaon, Paltan, Shahbagh, Nilkhet, Elephant Road, Dhanmondi, Shukrabad, Shyamoli, Kalyanpur, and Gabtali, where the movement of people and transports were normal.
At Rampura intersection, a traffic police sergeant, Sabina Yeasmin, said: “We have set up check posts and checking vehicles, mostly motorcycles, entering Dhaka.
Since noon, a greater number of motor vehicles, CNG-run auto-rickshaws, and human-haulers plied on the streets, she added.
Moreover, thee Dhaka Road Transport Owners Association has rejected the strike and announced to run buses in the capital. Long-distance buses also left and entered Dhaka defying the strike.
The city dwellers, businessmen, and other professional workers came out of their homes to perform their daily work defying the strike. Business establishments, offices, and roadside shops were also seen open during the strike.
Strict security measures
Meanwhile, members of the law enforcement agencies said they are working to deal with any unpleasant situation. Strict security measures have been taken across the country. Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB), police, and RAB are on the alert.
Besides, the members of the intelligence agency are active in plain clothes.
Leaders and activists of Dhaka North, South Awami League, Juba League, and Chhatra League are also seen on the streets, as they claim to prevent any act of sabotage or violence during the strike.
Dhaka Metropolitan North Awami League President Sheikh Bazlur Rahman said after an anti-strike rally in Paltan, all the leaders and activists of the Awami League are working to help the law enforcement agencies to curb any anti-national activities.
Members of Dhaka Metropolitan Awami League have taken position at Zero Point adjacent to the central office on Bangabandhu Avenue since morning, while leaders and activists of the Juba League took position in Shahbag.
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Awami League and its allies were seen patrolling on motorcycles in Malibagh, Rail Crossing, and Rampura area since the morning.
Hefazat activists and supporters were also seen on the streets in a few areas. There was no report of violence in Dhaka till the filing of this report.
After a rally at Baitul Mukarram mosque, Hefazat-e-Islam's Central Joint Secretary General Mamunul Haque said: “They will discuss in the evening whether to extend the strike or not.”
Some of their leaders, however, said they want to extend the strike till Monday.
Most Islamist groups, including Islami Andolan Bangladesh's (Charmonai) and Jamaat-e-Islami have expressed moral support to the Hefazat's strike. BNP also supported the strike but they showed no activities on the street.
Hefazat called a strike on Sunday protesting against the killing of its activists by police and the attack on them by supporters of the ruling party on Friday during their demonstrations against Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Bangladesh.