Road accidents killed three more students in Sirajganj, Khulna and Narsingdi and a madrassah teacher in Dhaka city on Thursday amidst student protests for road safety that continued for the third consecutive day.
Students of different universities formed a human chain on Pragati Sarani in front of Jamuna Future Park at Basundhara in Dhaka for the third straight day.
In Sirajganj, students and local people of Bhadraghat area blockaded Sirajganj-Nalka road for about three hours and set fire to a covered van as it killed a college student and injured two others running them over.
Two more students were killed in Khulna and Narsingdi also.
The student protests for road safety revived on Tuesday as soon as a Suprabhat Paribahan bus ran over and killed Bangladesh University of Professionals first semester student Abrar Ahmed Chowdhury while he was crossing road using zebra crossing at Pragati Sarani and dragged him along several metres as the driver tried to speed away.
On Thursday, at a traffic awareness programme, Dhaka Metropolitan Police commissioner Md Asaduzzaman Mia said that the Suprabhat Paribahan bus [Dhaka Metro – Ba 11-4135] had no permission to run in the capital and faced 27 cases.
Over 100 students of BUP, North South University, Independent University, Bangladesh and American International University Bangladesh formed a human chain along the pavement on Pragati Sarani at about 12:40pm on Thursday, for the third day.
They were holding placards and festoons.
Huge police were deployed on the spot where Abrar was killed.
Protesting students said that they would continue their protests peacefully without blocking road until March 28 and would take further steps depending on government initiatives to realise their demands by the deadline.
Protesting student Azim Chowdhury announced that they would hold peaceful protests until March 28.
They also gifted rose to the cops deployed there since the morning.
No untoward incident took place there, said Gulshan police station officer-in-charge Abu Baker Siddique.
Students continued human chain for two hours until 2:45pm.
Islami Shashantrantra Chhatra Andolan formed a human chain in front of the National Press Club in Dhaka for road safety and proper steps to stop killing on roads.
Several hundred Chittagong University students formed a human chain in front of Central Shaheed Minar on the campus for safe roads Thursday morning.
Besides Abrar, they also demanded justice for their statistics department fellow MMH Hridoy, who was pushed and severely injured by a Rangamati-bound pickup van from Chattogram while crossing road at about 10:30 on Wednesday.
The incident triggered protests Wednesday night.
A master’s student of the international relations Maruf Islam on Thursday’s protests said that police pounced on them and charged batons.
A faction of Bangladesh Chhatra League also expressed their solidarity with the protesters.
The CU Chhatra League publication secretary Mizanur Rahman Bipul said that thousands of students every day crossed the road near gate no-1, adjacent to Chattogram-Rangamati highway, but in the past 50 years none took the initiative to construct a speed breaker or a footbridge there.
The protesting CU students raised four-point demands — setting up a speed breaker at Gate 1, constructing a footbridge there on Chattogram-Rangamati highway, withdrawal of Hathazari police station officer-in-charge Belal Uddin Md Zahangir and sub-inspector Habib and ensuring security of students at Sholashahar rail station.
CU proctorial body assured them of meeting the demands.
CU proctor Mohammad Ali Asgar said that they supported all legal movements. To fulfill the demands of the students, CU authority would set up a speed breaker very soon. They would also take initiative to construct a footbridge.
New Age correspondent in Sirajganj reported that a Higher Secondary Certificate examinee died on the spot and two others sustained injuries when a covered van ran over them on Sirajganj-Nalka road at about 7:00am.
The deceased, Hridoy, 17, son of Haidar Ali of Bhadraghat village under Kamarkhand upazila, was a student of Dhukuria Technical College.
The driver and his assistant managed to escape, while student and local people set the covered van on fire and blockaded road at Bhadraghat.
Bhadraghat police officer-in-charge Habibul Islam said that they took the situation under control and traffic movement became normal at about 10:00am.
In Khulna, Akhi Moni, 7, a Class I student of a local madrasah was killed when a brick-laden tractor knocked down her while crossing the road at Anandanagar of Rupsha upazila, reports United News of Bangladesh.
In Narsingdi, Rabbi Mia, a Class VIII student of Hossainpur Pilot High School and son of Farid Mia, was killed when a Dhaka-bound covered van hit his bi-cycle on his way to school at Baraicha of Belabo upazila at about 10:00am, reports UNB.
In Dhaka, madrassah teacher Abdur Razzak, 50, of Meherpur, died on the spot near Kalyanpur bus stop area under Mirpur police station in Dhaka as a truck ran him over at about 4:30am, Mirpur police station officer-in-charge Dadon Fakir said.
He said that they sent the body to Suhrawardy Medical College morgue for post mortem examination.
On Wednesday, the students issued a seven-day ultimatum to the authorities to realise their eight-point demands, including trial of all killings in road accidents, removal of former shipping minister Shajahan Khan from all important positions, submission charge sheet for Abrar murder in 24 hours and trial in Speedy Trial Tribunal, announcement of building footbridges, zebra crossings and underpasses at the accident prone spots and cancellation of route permits of Suprabhat and Jabarl-e-Noor bus companies, appointment of drivers following labour law and establishment of syndicate-free transport sector.
After a meeting with Dhaka north city mayor Atiqul Islam, a section of students postponed their protests while others announced that they would continue the protests until the demands were met.
The Dhaka North City Corporation on Thursday started construction of a footbridge named after Abrar on the spot where he was killed.
Metropolitan police commissioner Md Asaduzzaman Mia at a programme at Mahanagar Natyamancha in Dhaka on Thursday said that the Suprabhat paribahan bus had route permit for Dhaka-Brahmanbaria route and was facing 27 cases, according to news posted on dmpnews.org.
Raising a question as to how the bus was running and that too in the capital and admitted that all concerned were responsible for the irregularity.
Bangladesh Road Transport Authority on Thursday formed a five-member committee to scrutinise the papers of Suprabhat and Jabal-e-Noor bus companies.
The committee was asked to submit report within March 27, said officials.
Earlier on Wednesday, the authority suspended operations of all 167 Suprabhat buses and 29 Jabal-e-Noor buses in the capital.
On July 29, 2018, two students of Shaheed Ramiz Uddin School and College — Diya Khanam Mim and Abdul Karim Rajib — were killed as a Jabal-e-Noor Paribahan bus ploughed through a crowd in front of Kurmitola General Hospital on Airport Road.
Want stories like this in your inbox?
Sign up to exclusive daily email
More Stories from Country