Traders continue demo for running businesses

Anaet Shawon

7 April, 2021 12:00 AM printer

Traders and shop owners continued to stage protests on Tuesday, demanding that the government allows them to open shops and run their businesses during the lockdown.

With the growing apathy of the business owners and employees, the protesters took to the streets and staged demonstrations across the country including in Dhaka, Chattogram, Bogura, Meherpur, Rajshahi and Kushtia on Tuesday.

They staged demonstrations by blocking roads, holding human chains and bringing processions to press home their demand. Some businessmen and their employees also demanded to allow operating businesses for a limited time ahead of Ramadan.

The government imposed a fresh seven-day lockdown across the country from Monday amid a staggering rise in coronavirus cases and deaths over the past month.

Several hundred traders and employees gathered in the city’s Chadni Chwak area on Tuesday to open shops maintaining health guidelines.

Chandni Chawk Shop Owner’s Association President Nizam Uddin Ahmed, said, “We have talked to senior government officials regarding market re-opening. Even if we are allowed to operate for a limited time, the traders will be relieved.”

They demanded that the government allows market owners to keep markets open for four hours every day during the shutdown.

Hundreds of shop owners and staffs demonstrated in Mirpur-1 area on Tuesday, demanding the government allow them to operate for several hours every day during the lockdown.

They also blocked the road and disrupted vehicular movement for an hour, later they brought out a procession and marched nearby areas.

“We have to feed our family. We are suffering a lot due to the lockdown. If the book fair, Bangladesh Games can continue, then why has the government shut the markets?” Ashraful Islam, a shop owner at Capital Tower Shopping Complex at Mirpur-1, said.

Shop owners in Rajshahi city opened their shops defying the restrictions on the second day of the seven-day lockdown.

On Monday, traders blocked Shaheb Bazar Road, demanding that the government allow them to open shops and run their businesses during the restrictions.

Terming that the decision to keep shops shut and allow industries to operate is a discriminatory decision, traders staged a demonstration and held a rally in Kushtia.           

In Sylhet, businessmen also gathered in front of court point in the city defying lockdown to stage a demonstration to allow them to trade as Ramadan is approaching.

Traders and staff formed a human chain and blocked the Dhaka-Chattogram road in front of Haji Ahsan Ullah Super Market at Shimrail intersection in Narayanganj to protest against the government’s decision to keep market and small business shut during the lockdown.

Similar protest programmes were organized at Chattorgram, Bogura, Meherpur, Sathkhira and many others districts also.