Prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday enlivened the somewhat gloomy cabinet members by assuring them that the ongoing protests were nothing serious as the students had already left the streets.
Education minister Nurul Islam Nahid informed the cabinet that almost all students returned to classes after eight-day street protests on the day and the situation, he claimed, was becoming normal.
As several ministers tried to pick the issue for serious discussion, the prime minister chairing the weekly cabinet meeting at the secretariat said such an agitation for a short duration should not be taken as a movement, according to ministers attending the meeting.
‘How would you work with me with such a weak mind? In case of movement, protesters continue agitations in sun and showers? They take to streets facing all odds,’ the apparently confident premier was quoted by a minister as saying.
Hasina rather identified Facebook as a problem during such protests as some quarters, she mentioned, spread rumours through the social media, use of which had been promoted by her government for communications among officials.
She said the social media was used to create confusion among people by sharing fake photos and rumours.
Nahid told the meeting that all students but those from East West University at Aftabnagar returned to classes.
Finance minister AMA Muhith said that his ministry had taken a project to make one lakh skilled drivers through providing training as the number of registered vehicles was far beyond the number of licensed drivers.
Shipping minister Shajahan Khan, also a transport labour leader, praised road transport and bridges minister Obaidul Quader for his initiative to reduce road accidents.
Obaidul, who had been vocal outside over the matter, remained silent all through the meeting, which approved the much-talked about road transport bill, a minister confirmed.
Thousands of students took to streets in Dhaka and elsewhere across the country protesting at anarchy in road sector and seeking justice for two of their fellows killed in a bus accident at Kurmitola in the city on July 29 amid attacks on them by ruling Awami League men at places.
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