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Long-route bus strike from today
Long-route bus operators on Saturday called indefinite period strike across the country from the night, protesting at alleged vandalism of vehicles in the ongoing student protests in the capital.
From today no buses will run on long routes, transport sector leaders added.
Earlier, the operators stopped running long-route buses during the daytime.
Bangladesh Road Transport Owners Association secretary general Khandakar Enayet Ullah told New Age that on security ground the owners and workers both did not want to run their buses at night from Saturday.
From the association no order regarding suspension of bus communication was given, he claimed.
Some miscreants in the guise of the students might be engaged in vandalism of about 400 buses since Sunday and burned eight
vehicles, he added.
Chittagong Inter District Transport Owners Association leader Kafil Uddin said they got instruction from central office to stop running buses across the country since Saturday night.
Shipping minister Shajahan Khan, also executive president of Bangladesh Road Transport Workers’ Federation, earlier said that buses did not operate on ground of safety and if the situation improved, they would also resume operation.
Following deaths of two college students in July 29, students took the streets in Dhaka and other cities demanding safe roads.
Very few buses from different districts came to Dhaka since Saturday while only a handful buses left the capital.
The decision of not running buses was made in the evening and no buses left Gabtoli, Mohakhali and Saidabad terminals in the capital and other terminals across the country.
Meanwhile, suspension of bus services across the country has put extra pressure on the railway as many are opting for the service in the absence of buses.
Bangladesh Railway director (traffic) Mahbubur Rahman said the pressure was more on the short-distance routes than the long-distance routes.
People in Dhaka and elsewhere in the country suffered immensely for shortage of transports. They were seen to board trucks, pick-up vans, cars and vans.
New Age correspondent in Munshiganj reported that no buses ran on Dhaka-Mawa highway on the day causing sufferings of people.
Hundreds of passengers were seen to wait at Shimulia ferry terminal to go to Dhaka while only a very handful buses left the terminal.
Dhaka-Mawa Bus Owners’ Welfare Association president Ali Akbar said they were afraid to run their buses for possible vandalism.
New Age correspondent in Barisal reported that long-route bus operation was suspended since morning as agitated students blocked Dhaka-Barisal highway at Bottala Bazar, Hatem Ali College intersection and Kashimpur points.