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Indefinite blockade begins today

Staff Correspondent

Nationwide blockade of roads, railway and waterways called by Bangladesh Nationalist Party-led opposition alliance for an indefinite period begins this morning pressing for election under a non-party government cancelling the ‘farcical’ election slated for January 5.
The sixth spell of blockade begins at 6:00am today with a break for a day after three days of ‘undeclared blockade’ enforced by the government and the ruling party to foil the opposition alliance’s ‘march for democracy’ that was scheduled for Sunday.
This is for the first time that the alliance announced the blockade for an indefinite period. The blockade may continue after January 5 if the poll is not cancelled, party sources said.
Road communications between Dhaka and the rest of the country remained snapped since November 25 with breaks for 7 days in between different spells of blockade.
The fifth spell of blockade for 83 hours ended on December 24 evening and the BNP-led alliance called for a ‘march for democracy’ to Dhaka on December 29. The government and ruling party men suspended all movement of transports on roads, railways and waterways from December 27 for three days to foil the opposition programme. 
The fourth spell of the blockade for 72 hours ended on December 20 morning beginning on December 17 morning after the third one for 144 hours from December 7 morning to December 13 morning.
The second spell of blockade for 131 hours ended on December 5 morning beginning on November 30 morning.
The BNP-led alliance began to enforce the blockade on November 26
morning following the announcement of the election schedule by the Election Commission on November 25.
At least 120 people have so far been killed and 678 were injured in political violence between November 25 and December 31, according to statistics available with the police headquarters.
The commuters on Tuesday found the services of long-route and city buses and railways almost normal after three days. Long route bus operators informed New Age that many passengers rushed the capital’s Gabtoli, Saydabad and Mahakhali bus terminals since morning for going different outlaying districts.
Seats of bus companies including Shyamoli Paribahan, Shohag Paribahan, Hanif Enterprise, Dola Paribahan, Balesshar Paribahan, Eagle Paribahan, Ahmed Paribahan, AK Travels and Rajbari Paribahan were almost booked for Tuesday, said transport operators.  They said that long-route buses were supposed to run till Tuesday night.
The operators would not risk running long-route buses on Wednesday for the opposition’s pre-scheduled blockade programme, they added.
Bus operators including Maitree Paribahan, Labbaik, Gabtoli Paribahan, Pallabi Service, ETC Paribahan, Prabhati Banasree Paribahan, Shuprobhat and Azmeri Enterprise ran their city services on Tuesday after three days.
Commuters also rushed to the capital’s Kamalapur Railway Station which service was remained halted since Sunday to prevent opposition activists from entering the city.
The station master Nripendra Nath Saha told New Age that 27 trains entered and 27 more left the station till 4:00pm.

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