Gulistan businessmen block road demanding market reopening
Their movement and clash with police reportedly created gridlocks in nearby roads
Shop owners and businessmen operating in Gulistan area staged a protest blocking roads on Wednesday morning demanding to keep their shops open maintaining hygiene rules during lockdown.
Police later dispersed the crowd gathered near the flyover and important sections on the roads after multiple attempts.
The shop owners also hurled stones and bricks at the police in retaliation during their protest.
Anwar Hossain, a trader of Dhaka Trade Center, said, "We have not been able to overcome the losses of last year."
He noted that the businessmen are eyeing Ramadan and Eid ahead, to make up for the loss.
Another trader, Azhar Uddin, said, "We are ready to follow the health rules that the government has instructed us to follow in our markets. Our demand is to allow our shops to stay open till a certain time of the day."
Abu Farhan Khan, a shoe trader, said there are about 5,000 shops in Gulistan. "About 20,000 people depend on them. Due to the lockdown, their livelihood is in danger," he added.
Abu Farhan and other shopkeepers demanded that the government allowed them to keep the markets open from 8 am to 4 pm.
Their movement and clash with police reportedly created gridlocks in nearby roads. Later the situation was brought under control.
"We were instructed just to clear the road," said Sub-inspector Riyad Ahmed adding the police requested the traders to continue the movement without blocking the road.
"However they started attacking us. That's why we had to baton-charge to disperse them," he said.
The government declared a seven-day lockdown in the country starting Monday to curb the new surge in Covid-19 infections.
Protesting the government decision, shop owners are demanding reopening markets for the last several days.