Bangladesh transport blockade no longer in force

Dhaka : The opposition Bangladesh National Party (BNP) has hinted that the indefinite transport blockade called by party chief Khaleda Zia on January 5, is no longer in force, media reported on Tuesday.

BNP member Jamiruddin Sircar dropped the hint after a meeting with the chairperson on Monday, bdnews24 reported.

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“There is no more strike in the country. I suppose this is clear enough,” he said after the meeting.

The party did not make it clear if the blockade has ended with their chief returning home following a three-month stay at her Gulshan office in Dhaka.

Khaleda had called for the indefinite blockade from January 5 after police stopped her from leaving office.

She was scheduled to attend an anti-government rally on the anniversary of the Awami League-led alliance coming to power for a second consecutive term.

Police apparently barred her from doing so fearing a confrontation between the ruling bloc and the 20-party opposition coalition.

The police posse was removed after a few days, but Khaleda refused to go home and instead continued with what the BNP called was an oust-government movement.

In a March 29 statement signed by its joint secretary general Barkatullah Bulu, the party declared it was lifting shutdowns but said the blockade would continue.

More than 150 people died, mostly from burns in the agitation marked by arson, firebombing and vandalism.

The World Bank has put economic losses over the past three months at $2.2 billion.