After 12 hours, on Sunday, at 6 pm, Chattogram Zila Sarak Paribahan Malik Group withdrew the bus strike on Chattogram-Cox’s Bazar highway.
In a press statement, the Group president Johur Ahmed said that they called the strike protesting vandalisation of Hanif Paribahan counter and misbehaviour of OC with one of their leader.
They demanded exemplary punishment of law enforcing officials who did not cooperate during the attack and demanded security in the highway for the running of vehicles.
After the declaration of the withdrawal of strike, vehicle movement restarted on 19 routes of Chattogram-Cox’s Bazar highway and south district.
They also said that if such incidents were repeated they would go for tougher movement.
Earlier on Sunday, bus owners called a strike on Chattogram-Cox’s Bazar highway over vandalizing and locking up of a Hanif Paribahan counter in Shah Amanat Bridge area of Chattogram.
From Sunday morning, a faction of bus owners’ group called a strike shutting down the bus services on Chattogram-Cox’s Bazar route causing huge sufferings to the passengers of Cox’s Bazar, Bandarban and South district of Chattogram.
Chattogram Zila Sarak Paribahan Malik Group secretary general Abul Kalam Azad alleged that on Saturday a group of people vandalized the counter and then locked it up. When we informed Bakalia thana officer in charge about the incident he did not take any action; instead he misbehaved.
He said that the owner of Hanif Enterprise is Mohammed Hanif who is now absconding after he was given a death penalty in the August 21 grenade attack case verdict on October 10 on charges of conspiracy and approving plan of the attack. But the owner of Hanif Paribahan and Hanif Super Private Limited of Chattogram-Cox’s Bazar route is not the same person.
Due to misbehaviour of the OC, the owners called a strike, he added.
Bakalia thana officer in charge Pranab Kumar Chowdhury said that when we approached the manager of the counter he said he would discuss later at a convenient time. Following this promise the bus owners’ group leader Abul Kalam Azad called me over the phone and talked very scornfully. I just told him to speak gently.
We have informed the higher authority and filed a general diary, said the OC.
Chattogram Sarak Paribahan Malik Group President Monjurul Alam Monju said that this strike is not the decision of owners’ forum because the owners’ forum is not a political organization. They called on strike without any discussion.
He said that on Cox’s Bazar route different owners run buses on lease using the name of Hanif Paribahan.
Earlier, on Saturday BCL activists vandalized the counter of Hanif Paribahan in the port city’s Dampara area.
Hanif Paribahan ticket counter in-charge Mahbubul Islam said that around 30 people entered the counter chanting ‘joy bangla’ at 2:30pm and started smashing glasses, television, laptops, furniture and other valuables.
They told them that the owner of the paribahan is a convict in the August 21 case, so they would not allow their buses to operate, he said. He alleged that the men also looted Tk 50,000 from the cashbox.
He said that the attackers are activists of Chattogram south district unit of BCL, and they identified some of them.
Mahbubul also said that Mohammed Hanif has not had any relation with the company for the last ten years.
Chattogram south district unit of BCL president Borhan Uddin said they did not have any plan to vandalise Hanif Paribahan counter on Saturday.
Hanif Paribahan’s BRTC counter in-charge Shahin Miah said that the same group closed the counter of Hanif Paribahan in Shah Amanat Bridge area around 1:00pm.
Earlier, a North South University student Saidul Rahman Payel was killed by Hanif Paribahan staffs.
On July 21, Payel (20) had got off the Dhaka-bound bus from Chittagong to respond to the call of nature at Gazaria in Munshiganj when the bus got stranded in a traffic jam.
When the bus began to move again, Payel tried to get on the bus hurriedly and hit his head against the door only to land on the ground with his nose and mouth bleeding. The bus staffers later threw his body into the river from a bridge thinking that he was dead and left for Dhaka.
His body was found under the bridge on July 23.
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