The Dhaka-Mymensingh Highway in the capital's Uttara was blocked for around four hours yesterday over the death of a child, causing a gridlock.
Eight-year-old Rifat, son of carpenter Abdur Rashid, was found dead in the water tank of a house in Dakkhin Khan area on Monday, two days after he went missing. Relatives alleged that Rifat was killed by their neighbour.
Protesting the death, around 400 to 500 locals took to the street and blocked both sides of the highway in Rajlakkhi area, Uttara from 12:30pm.
The blockade created gridlock on the road, causing sufferings to hundreds of commuters. As the child's mother Sahera Begum works at a garments factory, many workers also joined the protest.
Traffic movement on the road resumed around 4:30pm when police dispersed the protesters -- firing tear gas canisters and charging batons on the agitators.
Rifat, a first grader at a local school, and his parents used to live at Munshi Market, Dakkhin Khan.
Momena Begum, an aunt of the deceased, said Rifat was flying kite with his friends on Saturday morning at their neighbour Ajit Basak's house.
Ajit apparently chased them. Rifat's friends ran away, but he did not return home, she added.
Rifat's relatives searched for him everywhere.
The next day, Rifat's sandals were found at Ajit's house.
“That's why we are suspicious but they didn't let us search his house,” Momena said.
Later, the family filed a general diary with Dakkhin Khan Police Station. When police searched Ajit's house on Monday night, Rifat's body was recovered from the water tank.
The body was sent to Shaheed Suhrawardy Medical College Morgue for autopsy. Morgue sources said the body was decomposed and they have collected the viscera.
Locals alleged that Ajit severely beat him, leaving him dead, and then dumped his body in the water tank.
Officer-in-charge of Dakkhinkhan Police Station, Tapan Kumar Saha, said a case was filed accusing the house owner and his wife with the police station on Tuesday night.
The accused couple went into hiding after the incident, he said, adding that action will be taken after proper investigation.