Frustrated investors call shutdown in Dhaka’s business hub Tuesday

Small investors have called a dawn-to-dusk hartal at the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) and its adjacent areas in the city’s financial hub Motijheel for Tuesday to protest continuous fall in share prices.

Couple of hours after the announcement, police picked up four top leaders of Bangladesh Share Investors’ Association (BSIA) and four investors for calling the hartal.

An officer of Motijheel Police Station told journalists that the eight were picked up and taken to the police station on charge calling hartal.

Picking up while they were demonstrating in front of the DSE building in Motijheel around 5:15pm, police baton-charged and dispersed the investors who took part in the protest.

Normalcy in traffic movement returned later.

Dogged by the freefall in stocks, the frustrated investors also demanded suspension of trading until normalcy returns to the capital market.

The announcement came from a demonstration in front of the DSE building Monday afternoon when several hundred investors were protesting occupying the road.

Around 12:30pm when the benchmark general index of the DSE shed 97 points to reach 4,612 from Sunday’s closing at 4,709 points, demonstrators took to the street and started the protest occupying the road in front of the DSE bulding.

As a result, traffic movement on the road from Shapla Chattar to Ittefaq intersection came to a halt.

Mizanur Rashid Chowdhury, president of Bangladesh Share Investors’ Association, announced hartal from the demonstration around 3:00pm.

Angry investors also demanded resignation of the finance minister, governor of Bangladesh Bank and the DSE chairman for their failure in stablising the capital market.

Around 5:15pm, police picked up BSIA president Mizanur, secretary Abdur Razzak, vice president Selim Chowdhury and international affairs secretary Ataullah Nayeem along with investors Nurul Haq, Abdul Mannan, Abu Sufian and Abdul Hannan.

They charged batons on the agitating investors and drove them away from the road, clearing it for vehicular movement.


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