Vol. 5 Num 672 Thu. April 20, 2006  
Front Page

City cringes in fear

Tens of thousands of people in the capital suffered due to the police barricades in the major thoroughfares leading to the Prime Minister's Office during 14-party opposition combine's sit-in programme yesterday.

Even the ambulances found it difficult to reach destinations due to the barricades while thousands had to walk to their offices and educational institutions.

The sit-in programme was supposed to take place for two hours, police blocked the roads for at least four hours that created huge traffic jam in the city.

The law enforcers diverted the vehicles from the barricaded areas, much to the sufferings of thousands of passengers.

The number of buses on the roads was less than even that on the hartal days and many of those plying on roads could not reach destinations.

Many SSC examinees, who had practical examinations yesterday, had to suffer due to the roadblocks and jam. Some reached their examination halls late.

Hundreds of parents accompanying their children were seen returning home on foot in Dhanmondi, Mohakhali, Asad Gate and Maghbazar areas.

A father on his way home with two children fell in the fierce battle between police and 14-party activists at Bangla Motor yesterday afternoon.

Many parents holding their children's hands were seen running for cover during the clashes between police and opposition activists.

As police did not let several ambulances cross the barricades at Dhanmondi, the drivers had to find alternate ways to reach the hospitals.

"I have been walking for one and a half hours trying to reach hospital for my daughter's treatment as I could not find a vehicle," said a father at Mohakhali.

"Sir, would you please tell me the way to Cantonment?" Aklima Begum, who went to TB hospital at Mohakhali from Mirpur early yesterday, asked this correspondent in a bid to walk back home as no buses were plying from Mohakhali crossing.

Police in different spots even did not let individuals pass through barricaded areas. "I have been trying to reach my office but was diverted three times in different spots," said Atik, an office-goer at Farmgate.

At places police also checked passers-by.

Many people also got stuck in different offices and banks during the sit-in programme. "I came to this bank two hours back but could not get out as police barred me getting out on road," said a man at Bangla Motor.

The law enforcers even did not allow people to cross the roads adjoining the Bangla Motor crossing during the programme. Hundreds were seen walking idly in front of Eastern Plaza in scorching sun at the time.

A man escorts two school girls to safety during yesterday's clash between the opposition activists and police near Bangla Motor in the capital. PHOTO: SK Enamul Haq