Dhaka traffic on Wednesday turned haywire owing to Dhallywood star Shakib Khan's fan frenzy on the airport road after midday and the Awami League's protest rally against series bombing on 17 August, 2005 in the later part of the day.
As Shakib Khan was coming out of the Dhaka airport after clearing immigration around 1:15am, his fan-followers cordoned off the star's SUV. Shakib stopped at the airport intersection just in front of the airport traffic police box and spent more than half an hour while his legion of fans took selfies with him.
Traffic at the time was disrupted from Uttara to Banani/Badda road and traffic policemen were seen reluctant to evacuate the fan gathering.
Shakhawat Hossain Sentu, assistant commissioner (traffic), airport zone, told The Business Standard, "At first we did not allow them to gather on the road.
"Due to the mad rush of fans he (Shakib) stopped his car in front of the traffic police box, and the fans gathered on the street, but the gathering was not there for long and people did not suffer much for it. He left the place after a few minutes," he added.
Traffic sergeant Akkas Hossain said since he is a celebrity, it is very common.
Meanwhile an accident took place at the Moghbazar area around 1pm, adding to the traffic congestion, said Ashfaq Ahmed, assistant commissioner (traffic), Mohakhali zone.
Around the same time, activists of the ruling Awami League were on the roads for a nationwide protest rally against the countrywide series bombing during the BNP-Jamaat tenure on 17 August 2005.
Dhaka Metropolitan North and South Awami League organised the rally in the capital on Wednesday.
Hundreds of buses were seen parked on roads near the venue at the Engineers Institute in Ramna.
Thousands of people flocked to the rally, which began at 4:00pm.
Visiting the Ramna, Segunbagicha and Shahbag area from 3pm to 6pm, it was found that most roads were gridlocked.
Suzon Mahmud, a Dhaka University student, said he had to walk for around 45 minutes to reach Segunbagicha from the Nilkhet area as most of the roads were blocked. Many patients who came to Birdem and BSMMU were seen crossing the Shahbagh intersection on foot and had to wait long hours to get rides.
Muzahidul Islam, a private service job holder, expressed his frustration over the traffic congestion on Dhaka roads and said, "I started from Mirpur Shah Ali Market at around 2:20, and I could reach my destination at Tikatuli in only four hours at around 6:05pm. If it takes four hours to reach a 13 kilometre distance, you are drained of your stamina for the day."
Many were seen standing at different bus stations waiting for the bus while others opted for going on foot towards their destinations.
Dhaka resident Ishtiaq Ahmed wrote on the "Traffic Alert" facebook group, "Dhaka is dead for today [Wednesday]. I have never seen such gridlocks throughout the Dhaka city,"
Another Dhaka dweller, Tarlin Perkey, wrote that she needed at least six hours to reach Kakrail from Uttara.
An additional deputy commissioner of traffic division said that they were instructed to divert some routes around Ramna ahead of the rally.