Vol. 5 Num 469 Mon. September 19, 2005  
Front Page

Hartal makes little impact on normal life

The countrywide hartal called by the Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB), passed off peacefully yesterday with little impact on normal life.

The CPB called the dawn-to-dusk shutdown to press home their 11-point demand and protest the August 17 serial bomb blasts across the country, unbridled price hike of essentials and government's 'failure' to rein in the communal forces.

Earlier, along with CPB, the main opposition Awami League (AL) and its allies called for the yesterday's hartal, but later the alliance shifted the hartal to September 21 due to the arrival of Queen's Baton Relay for Commonwealth Games in Dhaka on the day.

Yesterday's hartal failed to make any impact on city life. In the capital, the day began as usual with regular plying of all kinds of vehicles.

Transactions at the government and private banks and activities and attendance at all government offices were normal. Shops located beside the main city streets remained open. Classes were held at some of the educational institutes in the capital.

Around 6,000 additional police and BDR personnel were deployed in the city to avert any untoward incident.

According to a BSS report, all trains and launches plied while all domestic and international flights took off and landed as per schedule.

Early in the morning, CPB brought out a procession at Purana Paltan led by its President Manzurul Ahsan Khan, but police intercepted the procession at the north gate of Baitul Mukarram mosque and clubbed the demonstrators.

Talking to The Daily Star, CPB General Secretary Mujahidul Islam Selim admitted that hartal was observed partially in Dhaka, but claimed that it was better observed in other parts of the country.

"If our party leaders and workers were allowed to stay in the streets then the hartal would have been more successful," he added.

BSS reports from Chittagong: The daylong hartal called by the CPB passed off without having any impact on the normal life in the port city and other parts of the district.

Shops remained open and attendance in public and private offices was normal. All kinds of vehicles plied the streets as usual. Some educational institutions, however, remained closed.

Operational activities inside the port jetty yard and outer anchorage went on in full swing with significant transportation of export-import goods.

Our staff correspondent from Khulna reports: The dawn-to-dusk hartal called by the CPB was not observed in Khulna city.

Transactions in banks were normal and shops and markets remained open. All kinds of vehicles plied the streets and trains left station for destinations.

Motijheel area in the city during hartal hours yesterday. The countrywide hartal, called by the Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) protesting the price hike of fuel oil and essentials, made a little impact on normal life. PHOTO: STAR