People from all walks of life including prominent cultural personalities, professionals on Sunday formed a human chain under the banner "Stop Violence" in protest against the BNP-Jamaat sponsored violence during the blockade and frequent hartals since January 6.
Since BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia announced the programme of non-stop blockade and hartal over 100 lives were lost in mindless violence and killings in arson attacks on vehicles and train derailments across the country. It also disrupted education and businesses.
Pro-liberation forces and people from all strata of life voiced their resentment against holding ordinary people hostage and bleeding the country's economy dry in the ongoing anti-government movement for the last 48 days.
Relatives of hartal and blockade violence victims, freedom fighters, students, teachers, day labourers and cultural activists formed the human chain around 10:30pm carrying placards at Gulshan-2 intersection in the city.
Around 1,000 people carrying placards, banners, and festoons inscribed with anti-hartal and anti-blockade slogans, like "Our combined strength is more than the bombers," "We seek peace," "We are teachers," "We are doctors," "We are labours," etc took part in the human chain that extended up to Kemal Ataturk Avenue in Banani.
Noted cultural activists Syed Hasan Imam, Tarana Halim, Afroza Banu, Masum Aziz, Nader Chowdhury, Aruna Biswash, among others, took part in the human chain.
Using loud speakers, the participants said the country is engulfed in acts of criminality all in the name of political programmes like hartal and blockade.
The victim, Abdur Rashid's son Hafizur Rahman said, "We want to see the end to such political programmes immediately so that no one gets hurt again."
Venting anger over acts of arson, vandalism and sabotage, noted actor and media personality Pijush Bandyopadhyay said, "Violence should be stopped at any cost right now, otherwise it will disrupt the country's march towards progress."
"I will vote for all-out action against blockaders and saboteurs," Pijush added.
Renowned actor Chanchal Chowdhury said, "We are here to protest against violence and killing. I stand against anarchy and vandalism."
He also said, "We must all unite against the ongoing violence and resist the anarchists immediately."
Later they headed towards Khaleda Zia's Gulshan office demanding the immediate withdrawal of hartal and blockade. Although obstructed by the police, a group of some 40 to 50 protesters from different professional groups were allowed to march to Khaleda's office.