Muhammad Swapan, a Bangladeshi expatriate living in Kuwait, came home yesterday after about three years with much enthusiasm but it faded after landing in Dhaka as he was told to wait for about eight hours in the airport before going home.
“I am suffering because of hartal. My relatives could not come to the airport to receive me,” said Swapan, hailing from Dohar upazila, adding that his relatives would come after the hartal ends and so he has to wait till evening.
Several hundred people met the same fate as Swapan after arriving at Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka.
Visiting the airport, The Daily Star found all passengers sitting or moving about helplessly.
“We have nothing to do but wait. I have several luggage and valuables with me and I do not want to take the risk of moving on the roads during hartal,” said Altaf Hossain, who arrived from Saudi Arabia.
“I know picketers set afire and vandalise vehicles and I may be a victim of such attacks if I start for home during hartal,” said Jahangir Alam, who came from Malaysia.
Expressing hatred for the country's political parties, many people at the airport urged politicians to change the culture of politics for the country's advancement.
Bangladesh is only lagging behind only because of such “destructive politics”, said Masud Rana, who came from the US.
After waiting for many hours, some people were seen sleeping at the airport, which created a crowded atmosphere.
“A chaotic situation is prevailing here as many passengers have been waiting all day long,” said Ujjal Hossain, a staff of the airport.