Shop Owners’ Protest Continues in New Market Area

Photo: Collected

Photo: Collected

Traders of Dhaka's Chandni Chowk market have again demanded to keep their shops open maintaining hygiene rules during the ongoing 7-day countrywide lockdown.

"We have to feed our family. We are suffering a lot due to the lockdown," said Md Selim, a shopkeeper at Naswan Fashion of the market.

In response to a question on how they will maintain selling amid Covid-19 after reopening, he said, "We will run the shops as directed by the government."

"If the book fair, Bangladesh Games can continue, then why has the government shut the markets?" he questioned.

Another trader Shihab said, "We are still recovering the losses we had incurred last year due to Covid-19. Now, we urge the government to allow us to reopen our shops. We will run shops in compliance with the hygiene rules as instructed."

They said about 10,000 people work here in Chandni Chowk and there are more than 1,200 shops. They threatened tougher movement if their demand is not fulfilled.

Nizam Uddin, president of the Chandni Chowk Shop Owners' Association, said, "We have talked to senior government officials regarding market reopening. Even if it is opened for a limited time, the traders will be relieved."

He also urged the gathered traders to return home.

Besides, another group of shop owners formed a human chain in Mohammadpur area over the same demand.

Earlier on Monday, the owners of shops at New Market, Gauchhia, Hawkers Market, and Elephant Road staged a protest blocking Mirpur Road for one hour over the same demand for the second consecutive day.

Bangladesh government enforced a seven-day lockdown from Monday morning in the face of spiking Covid-19 infection in the country. In lockdown guidelines, markets and shopping malls have been asked to keep closed during the lockdown.

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