The long-running blockade and hartal enforced by 20-party alliance led by BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia is losing grip on its own people, with many businesses -factories, shops and markets-owned by BNP-Jamaat men defying the shutdown.
The six-week old blockade along with frequent hartal have widely disrupted transportation across the country, especially as owners and workers refuse to operate their vehicles to avert damages caused by arson attacks that have killed at least 97 people and injured hundreds since January 6.
Witnesses said on Wednesday that corporate offices and business outlets including garment factories and CNG filling stations owned by BNP-Jamaat men kept their shutters open and were doing business as usual.
"We are not much bothered by what our leaders are asking for, but we care for business that is the mainstay of our lives," said one pro-BNP entrepreneur, requesting anonymity. "We also want business kept out of politics (like the ruling Awami League and most business leaders want)," he told The Daily Observer.
Employees said their owners had "forced us" to work defying hartal and blockade. Even they would not allow workers coming to work late, they said.
Fed up with long blockades that wreaked havoc on people's lives and livelihood for over the last one and half months, most people across the country ignore disruptive political programmes and prefer to keep working.
A large number of vehicles plied the streets of Dhaka, Chittagong, Khulna, Barisal, Mymensingh, Rangpur, Noakhali, Thakurgaon, Comilla, Narsingdi, Munshiganj, Jamalpur, Gazipur, Narayanganj, Jessore, Sylhet, Rajshahi, Bogra, Feni and other major cities on Tuesday, the 44th day of the blockade enforced by the BNP-led alliance.
Bahadur Mia, Managing Director of Jamaat leader Badruddoza Momin-owned BD Foods Ltd, said manufacturing companies were open across the country.
There are no directives from owners to shut down production, Bahadur added.
Manager (administration) of Partex Group, Badal said hartal has nothing to do with production of the company.
City dweller Omar Faruki Taposh said, Jamaat and BNP men are cheating the people in the name of anti-government movement while keeping their own profit in mind by keeping their businesses open and running.
BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia's Advisor Ruhul Alam Chowdhury said, "Those BNP leaders kept their business and industries open, punitive action should be taken against them."
"The list of hartal defying BNP bigwigs and leaders is being prepared, action will be taken soon on the basis of the list," he added.
Most of the BNP-Jamaat owned business institutions were open. Among them are Dandy Dying of BNP Senior Vice-Chairman Tarique Rahman and his friend Giasuddin Al Mamun, One Spinning Ltd and One Denim Ltd.
BNP Standing Committee member and Convener of City BNP Mirza Abbas owned Dhaka Bank, Dhaka Paribahan, Dhaka Phone. Khaleda Zia's Adviser Mosaddek Ali Falu's Ntv, IFIC bank, former foreign minister M Morshed Khan's Pacific Motors, Pacific Telecom, BNP Vice-Chairman Sadek Hossain Khoka's TV channel Bangla Vision are functioning during the blockade and hartal.
BNP leader SA Khalek's Khalek Enterprise and CNG station, former speaker Jamir Uddin Sircer's Jamir Telecom and Simple Call, Dr Osman Faruk's Advance Development Technologies Ltd, Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury's QC Shipping Ltd and Abdul Awal Mitu's Multimode Group, Lal Teer Seed Ltd and Livestock were also open.
BJP leader Andalib Rahman Partho's British School of Law is also functioning regularly.
BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia's Advisor and Gazipur Mayor MA Mannan's Gazipur Fashion is still open. BNP leader Abul Hashem's Partex Denim, Beverage, Plastic, Spinning and Cotton Mills are fully in operation.
Abdul Awal Mintu's East-West Garments and East-West Seed, Bagerhat BNP leader and former lawmaker MAH Selim's Silver Spinning Mills and Silver Line Composite, Jainul Abedin Faruk's Tamanna Textile, Narsingdi BNP leader Afzal Monir's Power Ceramics, Munshiganj BNP leader Mosharraf Hossain's Mosharraf Composite, Barisal BNP leader Mohiuddin Ahmed's Lithi Group, Barisal City Corporation Mayor Ahsan Habib Kamal's Tayo Feed Mills, Narayanganj city BNP President Jahangir Alam's Sabina Traders, and its General Secretary ATM Kamal's fashion house Naksha and restaurant remained open during hartal hours.
District BNP President Kazi Monir's garments SA Fashion, Fatullah BNP President Shah Alam's Shah Fateh Ullah Textile Mills are up and running. District Jamaat leader Ibrahim's Super Star group, Khabir Uddin's Crawon Cement, BNP's former lawmaker Giasuddin's GR Textile, former state minister Rezaul Karim's linked organisation are also open.
Among transport, BNP lawmaker GM Siraj's SR Paribahan, Kafil Uddin's Hanif Paribahan, BNP leader Rafiqul Islam Kazol owned Winner Bus, Anabil, Salsabil, Boishakhi and Labbayek bus also owned by BNP-Jamaat leaders are on the road.
BNP leaders and actor Dipjol's TR Travels and Dipjol Paribahan are functioning defying hartal. Thakurgaon BNP leader Hasibul Islam Bablu's Bablu Paribahan also continued to transport from Dhaka.
Jamaat owned 127 financial institutions, including 43 NGO's, 22 educational institutions, and 10 hospital and clinics namely, Islami Bank, Far East Islami Bank, Takaful Islami Insurance Ltd, Islami Finance and Investment Ltd, Ibne Sina Trust, Ibne Sina Pharmaceuticals, Keari Group, Diganta Media Corporation, Metro Group, Islami Bank Hospital, Ibne Sina Medical and Hospital and many more are functioning.
In Chittagong, business establishments and the industrial units of BNP leaders in Chittagong remain open during hartal hours.
President of Chittagong City BNP Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury's Meher Group, Bengal Fish Alfa Packages and Hotel Sarina, Convenor of Chittagong district north BNP Aslam Chowdhury's Rising Group, BNP Chairperson Adviser and Chittagong city Mayor Manjur Alam's Taher Group, President of Chittagong district south BNP Jafarul Islam Chowdhury's Ankhi Group, Vice Presidents of Chittagong district north BNP, SM Fazlul Huq Choice Group, Vice Presidents Chittagong district north BNP Lion Kamaluddin Clifton Group and General Secretary of city BNP Shahadat Hussain Treatment centre were functioning normally during the hartal.
Business establishments of Barisal BNP leaders ran regularly defying the blockade and hartal. City BNP President and former Mayor Mazibur Rahaman Sarwar younger brother Mosharef Hossain have transport business which is running in full swing, Aviruchi complex of district BNP President Ebaydul Haque Chan, Azizul Haque Akkas former UZ chairman and former President of Barisal sadar BNP, Ziauddin Sikder General Secretary of City BNP have transport business and wielding workshop both are running defying the hartal and blockade.
President of Barisal sadar BNP Enayet Hossain Bachhu advocate and many BNP's city and district committees leaders were regularly attending court defying hartal and blocked.
While visiting the city's business hub this correspondent saw that most of the business establishments including cloth warehouse, building construction materials, cement, tiles and other firms of BNP men remained open during hartal.
Among the establishment, City BNP President Md Jalil Khan's Howlader Trading, Shamsher Ali Mintu's, 24-no ward councillor of Khulna City Corporation (KCC), Bismillah Cloth Store and many others were open defying hartal.
Jamaat central committee member and former lawmaker from Comilla Dr Syed Abdullah Mohammad Taher is the Managing Director of Comilla Central Medical College Hospital which is busy serving the patients and as well as its academic activities.
Comilla city Jamaat member and former VP of Comilla Victoria College Mojibur Rahman's Comilla Modern Hospital, Former Jamaat Amir of Barura upazila Delwar Hossain's Sonar Bangla Hospital and Diagnostic Centre, SR Community centre owned by BNP leader Yasin Mia are running smoothly.
Mymensingh District BNP leader, former state minister for energy AKM Mosharraf Hossain's brother's industries are still open, BNP central leader Bhawal Bachchu, Morshedul Islam are doing business in Bhaluka defying hartals and blockade.
District Jamaat's Secretary Karim's warehouse of clothes and former Shibir President owned university CBST remain open during hartal. Sultan Mahmud Babu former BNP lawmaker from Islampur in Jamalpur owned Sunbim garments in Joydebpur and Mostafizur Rahman Bablu's garments accessories business have done well during the hartal and blockade, claimed a BNP central leader.
Rangpur City BNP President Mozaffar Hossain and its Secretary Shamsuzzaman Samsu continued their business defying hartal and blockade, district BNP President Emdadul Hoque Bhorosa's cigarette, biri and plastic industry remained open.
Bogra district BNP VP Saiful Islam's Josna Filing Station, Vice-President Mahfuz Siddique Liton's HR Jute Mills were still open. Dozens of coaching centres owned by Jamaat-BNP's were functioning.
In Jessore, BNP Standing Committee member Tariqul Islam's business institutions named United Builders, Labscan Hospital and newspaper Lokosamaj, Engineer T S Ayub's tannery in Dhaka and warehouse in Jessore and at least 20 others institution of BNP-Jamaat leaders relating to vehicles were open.
Noakhali district BNP General Secretary Abu Naser's business institution, Jamaat linked organisation Nofel group, BNP leader's Sawkat Ali's rest house, BNP leader Shahidul Islam and many others unit President Secretary doing business regularly. Jamaat leader Mohan's factory remain open during hartal also.