Protesting the construction of new shops, New Market shop owners blocked the Dhaka New Market intersection road around 12pm on Monday.
Speaking to the Dhaka Tribune, New Market Business Owners' Association President Shahin said: “The Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) floated tender to build around 168 new shops in New Market. But it is illegal. We do not accept it."
The protesters kept the road blocked for several hours before moving away when local lawmaker Fazle Noor Taposh assured them that he would convey their demands to DSCC Mayor Sayeed Khokhon.
The protest led to a severe traffic congestion and public harassment in adjacent areas including Azimpur, Palashi, Katabon, Mirpur Road, Elephant Road and Dhaka University campus, forcing city dwellers to return home on foot.
Additional police were deployed in the area for security. Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) Ramna division Deputy Commissioner Maruf Hossain Sarder told the Dhaka Tribune that they were observing the situation.
Around 4:30pm, local Awami League lawmaker Fazle Noor Taposh visited the New Market area and spoke with the agitating shop owners.
"I will speak with the mayor and ask him to change his decision. I will also arrange a meeting between the shop owners' association and the mayor," Taposh told the protesters. "I assure you that this issue will be resolved as soon as possible."
After receiving the lawmaker's reassurance, the protesters agreed to move away from the road.
The Dhaka Tribune contacted DSCC CEO Khan Mohammad Bilal on Monday evening, who said he did not know anything about the new constructions at the New Market.
"I am not aware of any such plans," said.