Small investors went on a rampage at Motijheel commercial area on Tuesday, vandalising scores of vehicles and business establishments after the general index of Dhaka Stock Exchange plunged again in mid-day trading.
Police detained three investors, while 15 investors and police were injured in two-hour clashes on the streets through Motijheel.
The DSE general index, however, rebounded and closed at 428 points up in a late surge of share prices.
Although the market opened with a positive mood with the DSE general index gaining by 236 points in first 10 minutes, it started to crawl down and shed around 104 point at mid-day.
At 12 noon, the panicky investors took to the street for the third day fearing another debacle and went on a rampage. They halted the traffic from Ittefak crossing to Shapla Chattar and took out processions chanting slogans against the market regulators.
Around 12:16 pm, a huge number of protestors started pelting brickbats at Rahman Manson near Ittefak crossing. The law enforcers tried to stop them through persuasion, but the protestors all on a sudden came down heavily at the law enforcing personnel.
The police, at this point, went for hard-line action against the unruly protestors. They charged batten and fired at least 2 teargas shells to disperse the angry protestors.
The protestors again gathered in small groups and took shelter in the nearby lanes and continued throwing brickbats at the law-enforcers.
Around 1pm, the protestors and the police locked in sporadic clashes from Shapla Chattar to Ittefak crossing that practically turned the area into a battle zone. Police fired four more teargas shells and charged batons indiscriminately at the gatherings of protestors to control the situation.
The protestors retaliated by showering brickbat at the police and the nearby buildings. They also vandalized a number of vehicles, including media transports.
The two-hour long forceful clash left more than a dozen people injured, including two policemen, two journalists and a number of protestors.
At least 3 protestors were picked up by police during the clash.
At about 2pm, police finally managed to control the situation as the protesters became calm as the DSE general index started to climb up and from 2.30pm the street in front of DSE building was opened for traffic.
At the burse, the DSE general index, started to climb up heavily and the general index rose by around 400 points in last one hour as investors, both general and institutional, went for heavy buying after the finance minister, Abul Maal Abdul Muhith, told reporters at the secretariat that the market would be stabilised within this week.
Investors went on similar rampages in last two days after the DSE general index lost around 730 points as panic-stricken general investor went into heavy sell-offs while the institutional investors took a wait-and-see policy for the share prices to come down further to buy at cheaper rates.
Analysts said that Tuesday’s late rise came following government pressure and participation of the institutional investors.
Salauhddin Ahmed Khan, a former chief executive officer of DSE, said, ‘A government agency injected funds at the last minute which pushed the index upward.’
He said that the government might have taken the move to avoid street demonstration before the Cricket World Cup.
‘If the positive trend continues, it might stabilise the market,’ he added.
New Age’s Rajshahi correspondent added that hundreds of agitated share market investors demonstrated and brought out a protest procession from the Investment Corporation of Bangladesh trade centre and after parading the major roads of the city, they held a rally at Saheb Bazar Zero Point.
They blocked Rajshahi-Natore highway at Saheb Bazar area for an hour, disrupting traffic movement.
More than 200 vehicles remained stranded on both sides of the highway during the investors’ agitation.
A huge number of police from Boalia police station rushed to scene and charged baton on the rally to disperse the protestors, witnesses said. The angry investors also hurled bricks on the police personnel.
Moulvibazar correspondent added that around 500 investors formed a human-chain and blocked the road at Chowmohana on Tuesday.
Later, police rushed to the spot and brought the situation under control.