Train services on different routes remained suspended due to rail line blockade by Hefajat-e Islam activists during their countrywide daylong shutdown on Monday.
Hefajat men put barricade on railway tracks in Brahmanbaria town, halting train movement on Dhaka-Chittagong, Dhaka-Sylhet and Chittagong Mymensigh routes for four hours.
The railway authorities suspended train service on Dhaka-Narayanganj route fearing subversive activities.
Parabat Express and Subarna Express of Dhaka-Sylhet route and Mahanagar of Dhaka-Chittagong route got stuck at different points in the morning, said Shahadat Hossain, divisional railway manager of Dhaka.
The trains however started for their destinations after the authorities cleared the tracks around 12:30pm, he said.
Hefajat men also blocked Dhaka-Chittagong, Dhaka-Sylhet and Dhaka-Narayanganj highway during the hartal.
The radical Islamist organisation Hefajat-e Islam called the shutdown protesting “government obstacles” to their Saturday’s rally.
The country lurches into yet another spell of hartals amid a further blow to the economy, education and life of people as the BNP-Jamaat-led 18-party opposition has declared a 36-hour countrywide hartal from Tuesday.
The 18-party called for the shutdown in protest of sending eight leaders to jail and demanding release of all opposition men.
The hartal supporters blockaded one kilometre road from the capital’s Bosila of Mohammadpur to Atibazar in Keraniganj since 6:00am, by felling trees and brick chips at different points.
Around 1,000 Hefajat men also brought out processions in the area demanding capital punishment for the “atheists of Shahbagh”.
Around 10:30am, police rushed to Bosila and were seen removing the trees and brick chips.
Meanwhile, all types of vehicles except private car were seen plying the city streets in the morning.
Train movement on Dhaka-Chittagong, Dhaka-Sylhet and Chittagong Mymensigh routes were suspended for four hours after Hefajat men blockaded railway tracks in Rail Gate area of Brahmanbaria town around 9:00am.
The train communication was restored around 12:55pm after the Hefajat men withdrew the blockade on request from Md Moniruzzaman, superintendent of police in Brahmanbaria, who visited the spot.
The authorities suspended train movement on Dhaka-Narayanganj route on security ground after 8:00am, said Fatulla Station Master Sanwar Hossain.
The train service was halted after pro-hartal activists put barricade on the railway tracks in the morning. Police later reached the spot and removed the barricade.
Meanwhile, Hefajat men blockaded Dhaka-Chittagong highway around 8:00am by putting barricade at Kanchpur and vandalised several vehicles on the highway.
They removed the barricade from the highway after a chase and counter-chase with police.
Two Hefajat men were picked up on charge of vandalism on the highway.
Hefajat men blockaded railway tracks in the city around 7:30am, suspending rail link of Chittagong city with Hathazari, Dohazari and Chittagong University.
Over 100 Hefajat men brought out a procession from Malopara to Kolpana intersection in the city, touching Shahebbazar in the morning.
Later, they held a rally at Gourhanga for 30 minutes and returned to Shahebbazar.
Hefajat activists put up barricade on Chandpur-Baburhat-Pennai road around 6:30am.
Being informed, police dispersed the activists and cleared the road by 7:30am.
Police picked up six Jamaat-e-Islami and Islami Chhatra Shibir activists from Kochua and Matlab, said Amir Zafar, superintendent of police in Chandpur.
Hefajat-e Islam activists brought out processions in the city’s Ambarkhana, Court-point, Humayun Rashid Chowdhury Square, Khasdobir, Shibganj, Kodomtoli, Tilagar, Chandipul areas in the morning. The Hefajat men also held rallies at Court-point, Surma Market Point, Ambarkhana and Nayasarak in the city.
They also brought out a motorcycle procession in the city around 8:00 in support of the hartal.
Long-distance buses stayed off the streets while only some rickshaws were seen plying the roads in the city.
However, trains started for Dhaka and Chittagong on time, a source in the local railway station said.
Hefajat activists blocked Dhaka-Sylhet highway sitting on prayer mats at Bhelanagar in the district.
They also held a rally at Bhelanagar where the speakers said they will stay on the road until the hartal ends.
Police detained Moulana Abdul Hamid, ameer of Hefajat-e-Islam district unit, when a group of Hefajat men led by him were trying to obstruct vehicular movement on Kushtia-Kuhlna highway, said Shikdar Moshiur Rahman, officer-In-Charge of Kushtia Model police station.
Police also charged batons on them to disperse the Islamist group, the OC said.
Police detained two activists of Hefajat-e-Islam when they tried to picket in the town.