The half-day countrywide hartal called by the Left Democratic Alliance, a combine of nine left political parties, protesting at price hike of essential commodities and increasing tariff of water, power and gas is being observed at places in Dhaka and elsewhere in Bangladesh.
In Dhaka, traffic movement was low at a few places where pro-hartal activists were seen picketing. At other places, traffic movement was almost normal and shops and shopping centres opened normally.
Top leaders of the alliance were seen holding a rally at Purana Paltan intersection amid huge presence of police forces. The rally began at about 6:00am, the beginning time of the hartal and was in progress till filing the report.
Speakers in the rally termed the present government autocratic and blamed failure of the government and ruling Awami League backed syndicate for price hike of daily essentials.
Activists of the left combine were seen picketing around the Paltan intersection. A group of left-leaning students’ organisations were seen picketing at Shahbagh intersection.
Police barred the combine’s activists from picketing at Mirpur and Mohammadpur area in the city, alleged Communist Party of Bangladesh leader Abdullah Al Kafi Ratan.
New Age correspondent in Khulna, quoting the police and LDA leaders, reported that the police picked up six leaders and activists of the combine, including Khulna city Communist Party of Bangladesh general secretary Nityananda Dhali, as they had been picketing at Picture Palace area.
Since the beginning hour of the hartal, police barred the left activists from picketing on the roads, the combine’s leaders said. A huge presence of police was seen at Picture Palace intersection, Dharma Sabha Mor and Hadis Park area in Khulna city. The LDA called the hartal at a press conference in the city on March11.
Some other left political parties and organisations also called hartal for today. BNP, Jatiya Mukti Council-led nine left political parties, Nagarik Oikya and some other political parties and organisations have extended their support to the hartal.