Restaurant owners and workers in Sylhet have called a strike from Wednesday morning protesting mobile court raids restricting operations at three restaurants in the city.
They have announced to keep all restaurants and cafes closed until the restaurants that have been sealed off in today's raid are allowed to resume operations.
They demand the detained officials to be freed.
The strike also demands to mark the end of such raids.
The announcement was made after a mobile court of the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) conducted raids at Bhojonbari, Panch Bhai and Pansi restaurants on Tuesday.
The mobile court raids have sealed off Bhojonbari and fined Panch Bhai and Pansi a total of Tk1.60 lakh for allegedly serving stale rotten food and condoning unhygienic environment.
Protesting the raids, restaurant owners and workers blocked Zindabad road in the evening leading to a long tailback on both sides of the road.
However, they withdrew the blockage at 5.45pm upon receiving some assurance from the administration.
"The restaurant owners are being harassed in the name of raid at a time when the catering business is struggling," said Shanto Deb, president of Sylhet Caterering Owners' Association.
He argued, "Restaurants can be fined if there is a problem. But there is no provision to seal off a restaurant."
Magistrate Polash Kumar Basu, who led the raid, informed, "We found various irregularities including subpar food and outdated licenses during the raid. Two restaurant officials have been picked up for interrogation."