Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Day After

For once I was actually missing the traffic jams on Dhaka streets this morning. While there were cars out, and children were going to neighborhood schools, traffic density was 1/2 to 1/3 of normal. My car was not allowed to go into New Elephant Road from Shahbagh, though I did go into the University area - and then Nazimuddin Road - without any hassle. Needing to go to Kalabagan, I found that entrance to Mirpur Road south (ie, towards New Market) from Pantha Path was closed. I got down and walked a bit - the Uttara Bank on Mirpur Road was closed, but other shops were open - and saw several big military vehicles headed the way of New Market.

I was informed that at noon the cellphones would be disconnected. It appears that connections with the rest of the country and within Peelkhana is disrupted, but mobiles within Dhaka work.

Then I heard that a lot of firing was taking place at Peelkhana. Speaking to a photographer friend who lives in Dhanmandi near there, it transpired that the newly appointed boss of BDR is someone that the Jawans had wanted, and so they were celebrating by firing into the air. Hopefully that is the correct explanation.

There is talk of shots being fired at other BDR camps inside the country. I don't know how much of that is true. I spoke with my contact in Sylhet town and he said things were pretty normal there. I cannot contact anyone in Srimongol/Mouvi Bazar because cellphones are down.

BDR needs to restore chain of command asap. This is the most crucial thing, I think.

Waiting for PM's address to the nation. In the meantime, foreign press trashing of Bangladesh has resumed with a vengeance. "Bangladesh Becomes Battle Ground" says BBC. Not yet.

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