Long route buses not plying, sporadic picketing in Sylhet

BNP and its associate body Swechchhasebak Dal leaders and activists block roads by broken bricks at Lalbazar Bhoraut area of Dakshin Surma upazila in Sylhet at 7:30am on Sunday.
Prothom Alo

Sporadic picketing has taken place in Sylhet in the beginning of 48-hour road, rail and waterways blockade enforced by the opposition -parties including Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP).

Long route buses have not left Sylhet till 9:15am today, Sunday. The movement of city buses is comparatively low, causing sufferings to the office-bound people.

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Police and local sources said around 15 to 20 leaders and activists of Dakshin Surma upazila  unit BNP and district Swechchhasebak Dal arrived at Lalbazar Bhoraut area of Dhaka-Sylhet highway.

Many of them covered their faces with gamchas and wore helmets. The leaders and activists blocked roads with bricks and broken bricks. They stayed there for half an hour and chanted anti-government slogans. Later, they left the spot.

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Long route buses did not leave Sylhet on the first day of the blockade. The photo was taken from Kadamtali central bus terminal in Sylhet on Sunday.
Photo: Anis Mahmud

Meanwhile, leaders and activists of BNP and its associate organisations picketed, setting fire to dry branches on the regional highway of Sylhet-Zakiganj in the Manikpur and Kajalshah areas.

BNP and Swechchhasebak Dal leaders and activists brought out a procession from the city's Naiorpul to Kumarpara roads at around 7:00am. They chanted various slogans including 'blockade to go on'. The picketers vandalised vehicles at the city's Shahporan area in the morning. Later police arrived and chased them. The blockade supporters fled. Besides, the picketers vandalised an auto-rickshaw at Jaflong area in Goainghat in the morning.

Sylhet district BNP president Abdul Qayyum Chowdhury said the BNP is observing the blockade peacefully. BNP will enforce various programmes for the interest of the people until the government resigns. Without the non-party neutral government, no elections will be allowed to be held in the country.

While visiting from 6:00am to 9:30pm, it was found that the movement of vehicles is very thin in various parts of the Sylhet city including Bandarbazar, Zindabazar, Ambarkhana, Chouhatta, Rikabibazar, Lamabazar, Subidbazar, Madina Market, Naiorpool, Sobanighat, Kadamtali, Bhartkhola and Jhalopara.

 Meanwhile, many people are going to their destination on foot. Members of law enforcing agencies including police are deployed on important roads.

Over-40-year-old Ajmal Ahmed was going to the Bandarbazar area to Lamabazar in the city.

This government employee said the vehicles are less due to blockade. The rickshaw pullers are charging higher fares. "I have started for the office on foot," he added.

Sylhet city police deputy commissioner Md Azbahar Ali Sheikh said security has been tightened in all spots including the highway to tackle the chaotic situation. No untoward situation has happened in the city.