Shunshan Gabtali bus stand in the morning of the siege on Sunday.
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The fourth consecutive 48-hour blockade called by like-minded parties including BNP-Jamaat has started from six in the morning on Sunday.
BBC correspondents who visited different parts of Dhaka since Sunday morning said that all types of vehicles including buses, minibuses, private cars are plying on the road, but it is less than usual.
Since the BNP rally was called off in Dhaka on October 28, the BNP has been carrying out a series of strikes and blockades.
After that rally, BNP held a strike on October 29, which was supported by like-minded parties including Jamaat-e-Islami.
After that from 31st October to 2nd November and 5th and 6th November two more complete blockades on roads, railways and waterways by BNP. After that program, BNP and like-minded parties staged a third round of 48-hour total blockade on November 8 and 9.
They have announced the fourth round of blockade program from 6 am on Sunday to 6 am on Tuesday.
The leaders of the party said that a new program will be given after the end of this program.
In the last few rounds of the blockade, there have been incidents of clashes, fire-ignition and chases in different districts outside Dhaka and Dhaka.
On the other hand, the opposition party has alleged that several top leaders of BNP and thousands of leaders and activists of various levels of the party have been arrested.
Image copyright Fire Service
Vehicles were set on fire in nine places including Dhaka and its surroundings.
How is the fourth phase of the blockade?
BNP Senior Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi announced the fourth phase of the blockade program in a virtual press conference last Thursday afternoon.
The blockade will continue for 48 hours from 6 am on Sunday to 6 am on Tuesday.
The party said that matters related to religious rituals of Shyama Puja of Sanatan religionists will be exempted from the scope of the peaceful blockade program.
The BBC correspondent visited various important points in Dhaka and said that although the number is less, various types of transport including buses and CNG-powered autorickshaws are running on the road.
Although there is a traffic jam at the signals of important intersections in Dhaka during the opening hours of the office, they are not stuck for long.
However, no long-distance buses are plying.
BBC correspondent Shahnewaz Rocky Gabtali toured the bus terminal and said that only one bus had left since morning. The bus left for Gopalganj with only seven passengers.
Besides, a lot of passengers who came to Dhaka during the last two days of closure are now unable to return.
A resident of Chuadanga told the BBC, “I knew there was a siege today. I also came to take a chance. I am waiting, if any bus leaves, I will leave. “
Passenger pressure was seen at bus terminals in Dhaka on Saturday due to the blockade program. Many people left Dhaka at Sadarghat launch terminal.
Nine vehicles caught fire since night
Before the start of the fourth phase of the blockade, vehicles were set on fire at nine places in and around Dhaka on Saturday night.
According to the media cell of the fire service, the fire took place between eight o’clock on Saturday night and six o’clock in the morning on Sunday. Eight buses and one pickup were burnt in these incidents.
Out of these, seven cases of arson occurred in Dhaka city. The remaining two incidents took place in Gazipur and Barisal headquarters.
According to media cell of fire service, 19 units and 193 personnel of fire service and civil defense worked to extinguish this fire.
The first incident of arson took place at Arambagh in Motijheel around 8:20 PM. There, a red-green passenger bus was set on fire outside Notre Dame College.
Later, two fire service units from Siddique Bazar fire station are working to douse the fire.
Image copyright Fire Service
A burning bus.
Ten minutes later, another bus was set on fire in front of Gabtali bus stand around 8:30 pm. Later two units of Kalyanpur fire station were working.
Then at around nine o’clock in Gulistan when a passenger bus was set on fire in front of Sundarban Square Market, two units of Siddiqbazar Fire Station extinguished the fire.
A passenger bus named Anabil Paribahan was set on fire in front of Phalpatti near Jatrabari intersection around 9:30 pm. Later two units of Postgola Fire Station brought the fire under control.
At around 11:30 pm, a passenger bus of Prajapati Paribahan was set on fire in front of Kafrul Police Station at Mirpur No. 14.
Another passenger bus was set on fire in front of Rupnagar police station in Mirpur around 12:00 pm. Later, the fire service went to the spot and extinguished the fire.
Last Sunday at around six in the morning, a passenger bus belonging to the Malanch family was set on fire in Sutrapur area of Dhaka, which was later brought under control by the fire service.
Meanwhile, miscreants set fire to a pickup in Gazipur’s Jugitla at 9:30 p.m. and in front of the divisional police office in Barisal Sadar, miscreants set fire to a bus named Ma Enterprise.
Tejgaon police said that two cocktail explosions took place in Farmgate area on Saturday evening. The incident took place in front of Babul Tower in Farmgate around 7 am on Saturday.
However, there were no reports of any casualty in the bus fire or cocktail explosion.
BNP Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi.
Youth Dal leader arrested
Feni district youth party president Zakir Hossain Jasim and general secretary Nasir Uddin Khandkar arrested 4 people by Rapid Action Battalion (RAB).
Captain of RAB-7 Chittagong Lieutenant Colonel Md. Mahbub Alam
After the arrest, two of them were handed over to Feni Model Police Station.
However, RAB did not say anything about whether those leaders will be arrested in any case.
BNP is claiming that more than 12,000 leaders and workers have been arrested from the center of the party to the Trinamool in cases and police raids across the country including Dhaka.
Photo credit: Getty Images
The police took a strict stance during the first phase of the strike.
Meanwhile, the Intelligence Police said that overall security has been strengthened during the siege.
Mohammad Haroon-ur-Rashid, head of police intelligence department, said in a press conference on Saturday that intelligence activities have been increased to prevent sabotage during the siege on Sunday and Monday.
He said that before the start of the siege and during the course of the siege, intelligence members will be stationed as passengers in Dhaka’s public transport to catch the sneak attackers. Along with that, CCTV cameras installed all over Dhaka will be monitored all the time, he said.
Police have been deployed at every intersection and important centers in Dhaka, searches have been intensified.
Meanwhile, the Dhaka Road Transport Owners Association has decided to keep all types of public transport including buses and minibuses running all over the country, including Dhaka, despite the blockade.
The organization announced this in a notification sent to the media on Saturday.
Earlier, in a notification sent by BNP, vehicles carrying mass media and newspapers, ambulances engaged in emergency services, oxygen cylinders and vehicles carrying medicines will be exempted from the blockade program.
Image Credit: Babul Talukder
BNP top leaders addressed the grand rally on October 28