Police have filed six cases against 195 inhabitants of Sitakunda’s Jongol Salimpur area on charge of attacking police and carrying out vandalism during their demonstrations blocking Dhaka-Chattogram highway. The cases were filed between Tuesday night and Wednesday noon. Among the 195 accused, 45 were named and the rest unnamed, said Abul Kalam Azad, Officer In-charge (OC) of Sitakunda Police Station. Read:Eviction drive at Salimpur: Local residents block Dhaka-Ctg highway for 5 hrs On Tuesday, thousands of people from Sitakunda’s Jongol Salimpur and Alinagar areas blocked the busy Dhaka-Chattogram highway protesting the local administration’s attempts to evict them from their lands and disconnecting electricity and water supply lines to their houses. The blockade created a 30-kilometer long tailback on both sides of the Dhaka-Chattogram Highway, the country’s main economic lifeline. Thousands of commuters had to undergo immense sufferings due to the gridlock. Around 5:00pm, a clash began between the protesters and the police when the latter tried to put an end to the blockade. A chase and counter-chase along with hurling of brickbats turned the area into a battlefield. Police used tear gas and mortar shells which finally dispersed the protestors.
Vehicular movement on Dhaka-Chattogram highway remained suspended for five hours since Tuesday noon as several hundred residents of Jangal Salimpur in Sitakunda upazila in Chattogram blocked the highway protesting an eviction drive by the local administration. The residents gathered at Bangla Bazar in Fouzdarhat area of the highway around 12:30 pm, halting vehicular movement on the busy highway. The local administration snapped the electricity and water connections at Jangal Salimpur to evict the illegal occupants. Sitakunda Upazila Nirbahi Officer Shahadat Hossain, said “The residents of Jangal Salimpur blocked the highway to press home their several demands including the eviction drive. Meanwhile, the protesters hurled brick chips towards police when they lobbed tear gas shells and charged baton to disperse them. Read: Tea workers return to strike for Tk 300 wage; block Dhaka-Sylhet highway A chase and counter-chase took place during the melee. The vehicular movement on the highway returned to normal around 5:30 pm. A 10-kilometer tailback was created on the highway due to the blockade. Earlier in the day, police foiled their bid to block Bayezid-Fouzdathat road in the morning. Deputy commissioner Mohammad Maminur Rahman, said the government has recently taken an initiative to rehabilitate 15,000 residents in the area and construct a number of government structures. The government also took a plan to relocate the Chattogram Central Jail to Salimpur khas land, construct sports village, cricket stadium, iconic mosque, eco parks and other establishments in the area. To make the plan a success, the local administration has been conducting an eviction drive for the last one month.
A 35 km long tailback was created on Dhaka-Chattogram highway after a goods-laden lorry overturned near Nuritala area in Chandina upazila early Thursday. “A freight truck that overturned near Nuritala area created the long tailback from Cumilla Cantonment to Gouripur in Daudkandi as vehicles had to move through just one lane,”said Md Rahmat Ulla, Superintendent of Cumilla Highway police. The vehicle movement returned to normal after five hours when the lorry was removed from the road, he said. “I started for Dhaka from Cumilla at 9 am and got stuck in a long traffic jam after reaching near Cumilla Cantonment area. After five hours around 2:30 pm I reached near Sonargaon upazila,” Shobuj Choton, a student, told UNB. Read: 25 km long tailback on Dhk-Ctg highway