Hundreds of boatmen of Shampan, a long sea boat in with a triangular mast, in Chattogram started a day-long hunger strike in Karnaphuli area protesting against the city corporation’s decision to not to provide lease to professional Sampan boatmen.
Around 300 boatmen from eight organisations gathered at the Sadarghat point in Karnaphuli area around 6am as part of their scheduled programme after suspending Sampan service, said SM Peyar Ali, president of Karnaphuli River Shampan Boatmen Welfares Association.
They will continue their programme till 6pm.
According to the boatmen, Mafidul Islam, chief revenue officer of Chattogram City Corporation, gave the Sampan ghat on lease to different organisations instead of professional Sampan boatmen in 2003, said Peyar Ali.
The affected boatmen submitted written statement to the Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Co-operatives.
On April 29, deputy secretary of Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Co-operatives, Mohammad Fazle Azim asked to take legal steps. No initiative has been taken yet regarding the directives, causing immense suffering to the boatmen.