20 hurt in clashes with cops; 300 drivers pull up at police station in protest against vehicle seizure, detention of drivers
An unusual row over taxicab requisition led to a clash between police and cab drivers leaving 20 people injured yesterday in the capital’s Farmgate, Manik Miah Avenue and Bijoy Sarani areas.
Witnesses said several taxicab drivers clashed with police at Farmgate as a traffic police was taking a taxicab to Tejgaon Police Station from Sonargaon crossing for requisition around 12:00 noon.
Police detained eight taxicab drivers and seized at least 20 cabs, drivers said.
The requisitioned cab was purchased on bank loan on condition of daily instalment payment, they said adding that they requested the law enforcers to let go of the cab but police swooped on them.
Tejgaon Police Station Officer-in-charge Mahbubur Rahman, however, said the clash erupted when a traffic police wanted to check out papers of a taxicab.
One of the detained drivers Ripon Khan said policemen beat them up mercilessly as they protested the requisition of the cab.
He alleged that police damaged their cabs too.
Meanwhile, about 300 drivers with their vehicles gathered at Manik Miah Avenue and Bijoy Sarani in the afternoon to lay siege to Tejgaon Police Station protesting the arrest of their fellow drivers from Farmgate. This led to another clash.
Sher-e-Bangla Police Station Operation Officer Kripa Sindhu Bala said they intercepted the drivers as over 150 taxicabs were trying to enter the VIP road causing traffic disruption.
Dhaka City Taxicab Drivers’ Union finance secretary Sarwar Hossain claimed at least 50 cab drivers were injured in the police attack.