Rallies brought out by the Bangladesh Awami League, the seven-party alliance and the BNP in different areas of the capital brought traffic to a standstill in Dhaka, causing immense suffering to the commuters.
According to traffic police officials, a protest procession by the Dhaka North AL unit was scheduled to be held at the Tejgaon Satarasta intersection, which brought leaders and activists in large numbers on public and rented modes of transport.
At around 2:30pm, leaders and activists started gathering in front of Hotel Sonargaon at Tejgaon Saat Rasta. Central and metropolitan leaders spoke on a truck used as a temporary stage adjacent to the Sonargaon Hotel. Later, the protest procession passed through Panthapath.
Buses and trucks used by the activists and leaders were seen parked on the roads, narrowing them.
At the same time, on-foot processions also slowed the movement of vehicles at multiple points, including Banglamotor, Moghbazar, Kawran Bazar, Shahbag, Tejgaon, Dhanmondi, Panthapath and other areas.
The traffic on the road from Uttara to Mohakhali had been increasing since morning, traffic police officials said.
The gridlock in multiple entry points of Dhaka had also spread to Savar, Ashulia and Gazipur.
Moreover, the traffic spillover from main roads blocked lanes and alleyways in Shyamoli, Adabor, Mirpur, Shekhertek and other areas as the commuters searched for shortcuts to bypass the gridlock.
The procession was staged to protest the insult and death threats issued against Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
The rallies ended at Dhanmondi-32 from Tejgaon Saat Rasta.
On the same day, in protest against the attack on the leaders of the 7-party alliance Ganatantra Mancha when they had visited the Sitakunda fire victims, a rally led by VP Noor was held at the Paltan intersection for several hours.
The BNP also staged a protest in front of the National Press Club condemning death threats sent to BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia and the rise in prices of essential commodities.
The three protests spread out all over the city put traffic on a chokehold.
Md Munibur Rahman, additional commissioner of Traffic Division, Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) said as traffic was blocked on such an important thoroughfare since noon, gridlocks spread across the city.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Media and Public Relations) Md Faruk Hossain said no permission was required if people wanted to go to Dhanmondi-32 to pay respect to Bangabandhu.
He, however, said political programmes on any road in Dhaka needed permission from the DMP.
He did not answer when asked if Wednesday's AL processions had taken permission for the rallies.