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App-based ridesharing bikers and shop owners brought traffic movement to a grinding halt in parts of Dhaka Wednesday, protesting the government's restriction order on their services amid a record surge in Covid-19 cases.

The pedestrians said bikers of ridesharing services gathered at Moghbazar intersection at noon and staged a protest demanding an end to the ban on their services during the weeklong restriction on movement of people and transport.

Traffic came to a standstill at that time as the angry bikers began to protest. Later, they tried to take position in front of Dhaka Metropolitan Police headquarters but failed as police gave chase to disperse them.

Earlier, the bikers gathered at the Mohakhali area at around 11:00am and demonstrated on the streets, causing traffic congestion from Mohakhali to Bangladesh Navy Headquarters in Banani.

When contacted, an on-duty traffic inspector of the Mohakhali area told UNB that cases were filed against ridesharing bikers as the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) imposed restrictions on bike ridesharing services until 14 April to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

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The BRTA has banned all ridesharing services for 15-days from Thursday to prevent the Covid-19 spread.

Meanwhile, shop owners and employees of the Bangabazar area blocked the streets of Gulistan in the morning, demanding immediate reopening of shops and markets.

Witnesses said protestors hurled brick chips at police as the law enforcement tried to disperse them.

Traffic came to a halt at Gulistan area at that time. At one stage, police dispersed the demonstrators.

Earlier, the government announced the lifting of ban on public transport in city corporation areas from Wednesday, amid the nationwide lockdown.

The move sparked anger among other commercial sectors and ridesharing bikers across the city.

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