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Dhaka New Market and Bashundhara City Shopping Complex-based shopkeepers staged demonstration in front of the respective markets on 4 April, protesting against the ban on their business activities during the seven-day lockdown starting on 5 April.

Shopkeepers at Chandichawk, Gausia, Chandrima, Nilkhet and the adjacent shopping hubs also participated in the protest programme.

A sub-inspector at New Market police station, Tabibar Rahman, confirmed the matter to Prothom Alo.

With the similar demand, shopkeepers at the Bashundhara Shopping Complex also demonstrated in front of the complex at 4:00pm.

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To contain the spread of coronavirus, the government imposes restrictions on people’s movement and business activities from 6:00am to 11:00pm during the lockdown period.

Only the emergency services will remain open, said a government notification issued on 4 April.

New Market Traders Association president Dewan Aminul Islam Siraj has demanded a total lockdown otherwise as he terms the partial restrictions on business activities discriminatory.

“If we can keep our shops open, we can earn our breads and our employees get their wage,” Siraj says.

He adds that traders at the shopping hubs eagerly wait for the Ramadan-based peak time of the Eid market which, he thinks, will be badly affected by the lockdown.

According to Siraj, trade of non-essential products gears up in three phases–the previous 15 days, the first 15 days and the last 15 days of Ramadan month.

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