Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)- A 24-hour general strike enforced by 25 pro-liberation organisations and a 22-hour road-rail blockade program of Ganajagaran Mancha are proceeding peacefully across the country on Saturday.
The shutdown enforced by the pro-liberation organisations and the blockade by the Ganajagaran Mancha began at 6.00pm.
In the capital, vehicular movement was less than normal, except rickshaws and battery-run easy-bike dominating the streets.
Most of the business establishments remained closed fearing possible clash ahead of the long march.
Meanwhile, blockade enforcers put up barricade on the Dhaka-Aricha Highway near Jahangirnagar University and staged a sit-in there in the morning.
They also forced the restaurants to keep their shutters down.
In Keraniganj, the blockaders taking position on the Dhaka-Maowa Highway at Kadamtali intersection stopped vehicular movement there.
Also joined by the left-leaning parties, they were chanting various slogans in support of the shutdown.
No long-route buses left or reached the capital as the transport operators decided to keep their vehicles off the roads.
Launch movement from Sadarghat remained stopped during the shutdown.
Besides, the Bangladesh Railway authorities cancelled schedules of 8-10 intercity trains ‘fearing sabotage’ ahead of the Saturday’s long march towards Dhaka by Hefazat-e-Islam.
The pro-liberation organisations called the strike on Wednesday night to create pressure for banning Jamaat-Shibir politics.
Meanwhile, protesters of Shahbagh Ganajagaran Mancha on Thursday announced to enforce the countrywide road and railway blockade for 22 hours from 6.00 pm on Saturday to prevent Hefazat-e-Islam’s long march.
Hefazat-e-Islam had earlier announced the long march to press home its 13-point demand, including arrest and trial of the bloggers who “defamed” Islam and Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).
On Thursday, they threatened to enforce a nonstop hartal from Sunday if the 24-hour shutdown called by the pro-liberation bodies is not called off by Thursday evening.
BBN/SSR/AD-06Apr13-12:25 pm (BST)