The countrywide dawn-to-dusk hartal enforced by Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami on Thursday protesting at arrest and remand of its top leaders, including its chief Maqbul Ahmad, passed off putting little impact on lives.
Though the hartal began at 6:00am, no picketing was reported from any part of the capital and elsewhere in the country.
Ruling Awami League and its associate bodies, however, brought out processions protesting the daylong hartal ignored by others.
Though private cars were relatively thin in Dhaka streets in the morning, it became normal as the time passed. Movement of public transports was as usual throughout the day.
Activities in banks and insurances as well as business establishments were normal while presence in educational institutions was slightly thinner.
Extra police personnel were deployed at important points of the city to avoid any unwarranted incident.
A press release issued by Jamaat acting chief Mujibur Rahman, however, thanked the countrymen for ‘observing the hartal peacefully and making it a success’.
The release claimed that 211 Jamaat leaders and activists were arrested from different places of the country, including Dhaka, Chittagong, Rajshahi, Khulna, Rangpur, Sylhet, Comilla, Barisal, Gazipur, Kushtia, Pabna, Natore and Chuadanga.
He demanded immediate release of the arrested leaders and activists.
Bangladesh Nationalist Party extended its support to the hartal from a press conference at BNP central office in Dhaka around 10:00am, four hours after the start of the hartal.
In Dhaka, Jamaat’s thana units, including Shahjahanpur, Demra, Khilgaon, Kadamtali, Kafrul and Mohammadpur, brought out separate processions in their respective areas in the morning supporting the hartal. The processions lasted for a few minutes.
Protesting at the hartal, Bangladesh Olama League, Bangladesh Sarak Paribahan Sramik League, Jukta Front Jote and Jatiya Ganatantrik League formed separate human chains in front of the National Press Club in the morning.
AL publication and publicity secretary Hasan Mahmud addressed a human chain formed by Jatiya Muktijoddha Samanwaya Committee in front of the National Press Club protesting at the hartal.
Reports from districts said that Jamaat brought out processions in support of the hartal while Awami League and its front organisations took to the streets in protest of the hartal.
A press release sent to media by central unit of Chhatra Shibir said that the organisation’s Dhaka south city, Comilla town and Lakshmipur town units brought out processions in their respective areas in the morning supporting the hartal.
Bangladesh Chhatra League held processions at Dhaka University, Jagannath University, Dhaka College, Eden College, Titumir College and different parts of the city protesting the hartal, reported New Age correspondent at Dhaka University.
New Age correspondent in Khulna reported that the police arrested four Jamaat-Shibir activists from near Khulna Medical College Hospital in the morning as they brought out a procession.
New Age correspondent in Sylhet reported that Thursday’s hartal could put little impact on life in the divisional city. No Jamaat picket was seen on city streets, but the ruling Awami League and its front organisations brought out anti-hartal processions.
New Age correspondent in Barisal reported that the police arrested three Chhatra Shibir activists from a mosque at Rupatali in the city in the morning when they were preparing for picketing.
Besides, five Jamaat activists were arrested in Feni, four in Chuadanga and eight in Sirajganj, two hours before the start of the hartal, said reports from the districts.
On Tuesday, Jamaat announced the shutdown soon after a Dhaka court placed eight of its leaders on a 10-day remand in police custody in two cases with Kadamtali police.
On Monday night, detectives arrested Jamaat chief Maqbul, its nayeb-e-ameer Mia Golam Parwar, secretary general Shafiqur Rahman and five other party leaders from the city’s Uttara area.
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