Bangladesh Sarak Paribahan Sramik Federation has called a 48-hour strike in greater Chattogram from Monday protesting an alleged demand of extortion by a lawmaker.
Leaders of the transport organisation alleged that “Didarul Alam, the lawmaker from Chattogram-4, summoned them to his residence at Sitakunda on Friday night and demanded Tk two lakh as extortion per month from the Chattogram Jila Human Hauler Malik Samiti, an associate organisation of the federation”, reports our Chattogram correspondent.
Mohammed Musa, president of the regional committee of the federation, told The Daily Star that Didar “assaulted” Oli Ahmed and Khursed Alam, the secretary and joint secretary respectively of the Human Hauler Malik Samiti after they refused to comply with the demand.
Musa also alleged that “MP Didar has been trying to take over the organisation in order to accommodate his people”.
“He asked the two leaders to hand over control of the samiti to him. When they refused, he assaulted the duo and demanded Tk two lakh as extortion per month,” Musa said.
Chattogram Jila Human Hauler Malik Samiti controls the vehicles of route no-8 which operate from Alonkar intersection to Sitakunda.
“Protesting the assault and demand of extortion, we have decided to enforce a 48-hour strike in greater Chattogram (Chattogram, Cox’s Bazar and three hill districts) from 6:00 am on Monday,” Musa added.
However, Didarul Alam denied the allegation when contacted, saying that he called them to his residence to know about the allegation raised against them by the vehicles’ owners.
“The vehicles’ owners complained that the samiti realises extortion of Tk 3,000 a month from each vehicle. I just wanted to know the reason and nothing other than that happened,” he claimed.
The lawmaker also said the people who are leading the samiti and regional committee were involved in BNP-politics and there were cases filed against many of them in 2014.
Meanwhile, Greater Chattogram Sarak Paribahan Oikya Parishad, another transport organisation, rejected the strike in a press release this evening saying that the crisis could be resolved through discussion and does not need to go on strike.