• Thursday, Oct 29, 2020
  • Last Update : 01:53 pm

Covid-19: Thousands take to streets demanding relief, food

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File photo: Locals, mostly day labourers, who’ve been put out of jobs demonstrate on the Dhaka-Barisal Highway seeking relief materials to survive in Gopalganj on Tuesday, April 14, 2020 Dhaka Tribune

The ongoing protest, which is growing day by day, claims that there is a possibility of dying out of hunger before the disease even put its clasp on people

Thousands of underprivileged people have taken to the streets demanding food for themselves and their families amid the nationwide lockdowns and government restrictions to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

The ongoing protest, which is growing day by day, claims that there is a possibility of dying out of hunger before the disease even put its clasp on people.

Although Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday ordered the Awami League and its affiliated organisations to form a relief committee and asked them to ensure delivering relief materials to those in need, yet these are rarely being implemented, the protesters said.

In Rangpur, hundreds of underprivileged people have demonstrated in front of the Member of Parliament (MP) of Rangpur-3 constituency, Saad Ershad’s house --who is the son of late Hussain Muhammad Ershad, former President of Bangladesh --demanding food and reliefs from 10 am yesterday.

The protesters besieged Palli Nibas, Saad’s residence in Darshana and also staged a blockade on the Rangpur-Dhaka Highway claiming that the MP has not provided any reliefs to the underprivileged people but is only leveraging his power to lead a luxurious lifestyle in the capital since he had been elected.

Monowar Hossain, Rahima and Anowara Begum, residents of the city, said that Saad Ershad’s late father used to help them whenever possible and after his demise, they elected his son with the hope of getting the same treatment as they received from the late former president.

When contacted, same accusations echoed among the party workers that Saad has failed to prove his leadership as an MP and not only the underprivileged but they too are distressed about his accountability.

In Kurigram, hundreds of people came out to streets demanding food and staged a blockade in Ulipur-Rajarhat road yesterday.

The protesters alleged people from other areas have received reliefs three times but they did not receive any reliefs from any private or public organisation.

Mostafizar, Abu Miah among other protesters said they remained out of the scope of any help and until their demands have been met they will not leave the street.

Hearing the incident, Assistant Commissioner (AC Land) of the district Sohel Sultan visited the area and by promising proper relief brought the situation under control.

He said: “Almost 39,000 people live in this area. It is possible to miss out some of them but most of the people are provided rations by the authority to my knowledge.”

He assured Dhaka Tribune that another extensive list has been made on the spot and relief will be ensured soon enough.

In Satkhira, around a thousand people who have become jobless amid the ongoing shutdown staged demonstrations in front of Satkhira Medical College Hospital in the town on yesterday demanding relief.

Abul Hossain, general secretary of Communist Party Bangladesh Satkhira unit, said that there are 5,000 people in the area but till now they did not receive any relief. Though ward councillor Shahidul Islam was informed several times no initiative was taken, he said.

In Jessore, hundreds of unemployed and underprivileged people came out on the street on Wednesday and demonstrated demanding food aid at Pulerhat area under Chachra union.

Protesters said they got no food aid from the government even after going to offices and houses of local representatives.

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