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Dhaka Tribune

Transport strike begins in Rangpur ahead of BNP rally

Owners are reportedly reluctant to operate buses fearing violence centring on BNP’s mass rally on Saturday

Update : 28 Oct 2022, 11:22 AM

As per the announcement of the Rangpur District Motor Owners' Association, transport strike began from 6am on Friday, a day before BNP's mass rally in Rangpur. 

Movement of all vehicles including Dhaka-bound buses and inter-district transport has been stopped. 

Bus ticket counters were seen closed on Friday morning at the Dhaka coach stand in Kamarpara of Rangpur city. All Dhaka-bound buses were seen standing in a row at the bus stand.

Rafiqul Islam, the counter manager of Nabil Paribahan of the bus counter, said that the transport movement has been stopped due to the fear that violence may arise in the BNP rally.

On the other hand, Mumtaz Uddin, a bus driver, said that BNP had called a general meeting and that the government party might also give a counter-program, as a result, the bus owners were fearing major violence, expressing reluctance to run buses.

Bus helpers Azizul and Shahanur said that they fulfill their families' demands daily and they stay all day without food when there is a strike. 

Similar situations were seen at Rangpur Central Bus Terminal. All bus services of more than a hundred routes have been stopped. Similarly, the movement of trucks, microbuses, and minibusses has been stopped as well. 

Meanwhile, due to the sudden bus strike, the passengers have been suffering tremendously. 

Shahabul, a passenger who came to the central bus terminal from Rangpur to go to Bogra, said that he had urgent work and could not go because of the strike. “I heard that BNP is going to hold a rally and that is why the buses were stopped to avoid any untoward situation,” he said.  

Rahima Begum, an old woman, was going back from the bus terminal. “I was supposed to go meet my son but now I am going back as the buses were stopped,” she said. 

In this regard, the Vice President of Rangpur District Motor Owners' Association Maruf said violent clashes might erupt as the BNP called a mass meeting and a trade fair had been held on the initiative of the government party.

“What if the buses were attacked or set on fire? We don't have the courage to run buses that cost almost Tk15-20 lakh,” he said. 

Meanwhile, few auto rickshaws and private cars were seen plying in the city even though the strike was for three-wheelers as well.

Rangpur District Motor Owners' Association had called for a strike from Friday 6am to Saturday 6pm demanding ban on illegal vehicles, including three-wheelers, on the highway.

The announcement was made through a press release issued by the association on Thursday. 

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