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Wednesday, December 19, 2012
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Peaceful hartal a surprise

Home minister thanks organisers

People use rickshaw-vans at Farmgate in the capital yesterday morning to get to work. The hartal called by the Left parties demanding quick trial of war criminals of 1971 led to this suffering. Photo: Sk Enamul Haq

A countrywide dawn-to-dusk hartal was enforced yesterday by two left-leaning parties and an alliance apparently with the support of law enforcement agencies and pro-government transport organisations.

The shutdown passed off with no incident of vandalism, setting fire to vehicles, violent picketing and clashes with the law enforcers, which were common features of hartals enforced in the country in the past.

Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB), Bangladesher Samajtantrik Dal (BSD) and Gonotantrik Baam Morcha GBM), an alliance of seven left-leaning parties had earlier called the hartal to press home their demands for ban on religion-based political parties, speedy war crimes trial and punishment to the owner and staff concerned of Tazreen Fashions for deaths due to their gross negligence.

In the capital, movement of passenger buses and other vehicles was thin and inter-district bus services from the city remained suspended during the shutdown.

In a sharp contrast to practices during hartals called by the BNP-led opposition in the past, the state-run Bangladesh Road Transportation Corporation (BRTC) buses were not seen on the city roads during hartal hours yesterday.

And law enforcement agencies, especially members of police, were seen diverting traffic from different points where pro-hartal activists took position and staged demonstrations.

Police were also blocked some roads to help hartal supporters to organise their programmes at Mirpur-10 intersection, and in Shahbagh and Paltan areas.

Talking to journalists at his secretariat office yesterday, Home Minister Muhiuddin Khan Alamgir thanked CPB and BSD for observing a “peaceful” hartal across the country.

The minister, however, said he did not know anything about police barricades on city roads.

On the other hand, organisers of the hartal thanked people for making it a "success". The shutdown yesterday set an example of peaceful movement for realising demands without any violence, they said at two rallies at the city's Purana Paltan crossing.

Contacted, BRTC insiders said they were instructed by the authorities to refrain from plying the buses yesterday. Pro-government transport and labour leaders also asked their fellow workers not to bring any buses on roads, a transport sector leader said.

Md Khan Kamal Uddin, deputy general manager (operation) of BRTC, said workers loyal to the CBA did not ply buses in support of the hartal. "We did not put pressure on them to run buses," he added.

Meanwhile, the main opposition BNP termed the hartal “funny".

“We have observed how the home minister's forces observed hartal,” Tariqul Islam, a BNP standing committee member, told journalists at the party central office at Nayapaltan.

CPB and BSD declared their next course of action including holding a rally on December 28 in front of the Jatiya Press Club with the same set of demands while GBM will hold a rally at the same venue on the same demands on Dec 24.

Earlier, 12 like-minded Islamist parties, mostly Jamaat-backed, had threatened to enforce a hartal on Thursday if the left-leaning parties did not withdraw their Tuesday's shutdown.

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When government do Hartal, needless to say it will be peaceful because there is no one to oppose it. By the way, do you change your position to Hartal?

: Jumana Sarwar

Bangladesh probably only country in the world where the government thanks the organizations who has resorted to hartal, causing sufferings to the ordinary people by disrupting the lively hood of ordinary folks. Is it not the duty and responsibility of the government to see and act to maintain the normal activities of ordinary people? Is not this encouraging other entities to resort to hartals?

: Dr. Nazmul Haq

Comments

  • neutral
    Wednesday, December 19, 2012 02:19 AM GMT+06:00 (84 weeks ago)

    1Thanks to the leftist parties for organising a peaceful hartal without any incident, and for making a bold demand that the trail of war criminals shall continue without any interference from any quarters and judgment delivered by next 6 months at the latest. A couple of negative comments are already on this page. i wonder what type of hartal they like, the one which cause complete civil disorders and loss of life and property or hartal peaceful like this one whatever reason might be for its success. The bottom line is the fanatics have been rejected by the people of Bangladesh and they want the trail of the war criminals to continue and finish with judgment soon.

  • suahmed
    Wednesday, December 19, 2012 02:40 AM GMT+06:00 (84 weeks ago)

    The communist and socialist parties who organised hartal in the country with the support of Ruling AL should thank not the people but to AL Govt. who enforced hartal countrywide forcibly.

  • Barkat
    Wednesday, December 19, 2012 02:51 AM GMT+06:00 (84 weeks ago)

    When the government is the co sponsor of this hartal it was deem to be peaceful. To make it peaceful the governments have instructed it goons BCL and its police force not to disturb the pro hartal party. The story will be opposite when the AL opposition calls for hartal.

  • Nasirullah Mridha,USA
    Wednesday, December 19, 2012 03:11 AM GMT+06:00 (84 weeks ago)

    When BNP-JAMAT enforced hartal government termed it conspiracy hatched against them and bode-ill for indigent. But on CPB and left-leaning party's hartal AL government change their description of hartal. The empty-headed Home Minister termed the hartal peaceful and congratulated the leaders. My humble question to magniloquent Home Minister who would have provide the hand-to- mouth persons food who were not venture to go out to earn their livelihood during Hartal?

  • Selma
    Wednesday, December 19, 2012 03:25 AM GMT+06:00 (84 weeks ago)

    Of course it will be peaceful when the police and Governments thugs are not let loose on the opposition protesters!

  • Shadeq Rahman
    Wednesday, December 19, 2012 03:53 AM GMT+06:00 (84 weeks ago)

    Home minister is out of order, He is allow to do strike such a small organization and beating up if main opposition do strike even he does not tolerate any peaceful activity by Jamath and Shibir , He should remember All of these organization people belonging with this country, one relative an got relation to other.

  • Alamgir
    Wednesday, December 19, 2012 06:05 AM GMT+06:00 (84 weeks ago)

    After all it is Govt sponsored hartal, so it is bound to be peaceful. When the opposition enforces hartal, the stark truth is that police is already under orders to beat them up as soon as they show up! And without provocations too! What a farce?

  • Fuad Ali
    Wednesday, December 19, 2012 06:27 AM GMT+06:00 (84 weeks ago)

    You silly moppets! It's not a hartal when it's your mates and you don't use the police against them!

  • md zamal uddin
    Wednesday, December 19, 2012 06:32 AM GMT+06:00 (84 weeks ago)

    I don't understand why AL did fun like this hartal by leftist?

  • manjur rahim
    Wednesday, December 19, 2012 07:13 AM GMT+06:00 (84 weeks ago)

    Shame. It's a govt hartal against the own government. How they thank to the public?

  • nagorik
    Wednesday, December 19, 2012 07:26 AM GMT+06:00 (84 weeks ago)

    This time is it not illegal to make rally and meeting in street? Is it only illegal for oppositions like BNP, JAMAT? Is not it BAKSHALI fascism?

  • sujon
    Wednesday, December 19, 2012 07:34 AM GMT+06:00 (84 weeks ago)

    Where are BCL terrorists this time? Next time Hasina will call Hartal against world bank for not allowing to loot Padma bridge money.

  • deep purple blue
    Wednesday, December 19, 2012 12:30 PM GMT+06:00 (84 weeks ago)

    Funny, government backed hartal! Still funnier that the Home Minister thanks the hartal sponsors! CPB, BSD should not thank the people for the so-called successful hartal but they should thank the home minister, police and BRTC for their success!

  • z hossain
    Wednesday, December 19, 2012 02:28 PM GMT+06:00 (84 weeks ago)

    A hartal is a Hartal however peaceful. It infringes on the rights of citizens and is not acceptable. Everyone should shun this form of protest.

  • Reaz Hassan
    Wednesday, December 19, 2012 12:40 AM GMT+06:00 (84 weeks ago)

    A government sponsored counter productive hartal for making fun in the streets with police protection. In protest of this hartal, there will now be another hartal on 20th. All the supporters and activists put together both of the communist parties and Islamic parties who are in the front lines will not exceed one per cent of the voters. How absurd, ridiculous and bizarre our politics is at the moment.


 

 


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