Four more students were killed in road accidents in Sylhet, Munshiganj and Gazipur on Saturday amidst student protests for road safety at places across the country, including Sylhet, Barishal, Jashore, Narsingdi, Munshiganj.
Of the deceased, Sylhet Agricultural University student Wasim Afnan, 24, hailed from Rudragram under Nabiganj in Habiganj, was pushed off a bus and run over by the same bus at Sherpur crossing in Moulvibazar.
The other deceased were Medinimandal Anwar Ali High School Class VI student Antar, 12, son of Raja Mia of Medenimandal village at Lauhajang in Munshiganj and Linkan School and College Class XI students Jumman Hossain Nasir, 18, son of Jahangir Alam of Masterbari and Rabin, 20, of Bhimbazar in Gazipur city.
The incidents took to nine the number of students killed in road accidents in Bangladesh since March 19 when students took to the street for road safety as Bangladesh University of Professionals student Abrar Ahmed Chowdhury was run over and killed by a speeding Supravat Paribahan bus at Bashundhara in Dhaka.
The protesting students in Dhaka suspended their protests on March 21 until March 28 as authorities assured them of meting their demands, but students in different districts continued protests for road safety as reckless driving continued to kill people, including students, on roads.
This spell of safe road movement began after seven months of the weeklong countrywide protests for road safety and justice for the victims after two students of Shaheed Ramiz Uddin Cantonment College in Dhaka were killed and
12 more were injured when a bus ploughed through a crowd at Kurmitola in the capital on July 29, 2018.
On Saturday, students in Sylhet, Barishal, Jashore, Narsingdi and Munshiganj took to the streets and blocked roads demanding safe roads and protesting against accidents that killed their fellows.
New Age Staff Correspondent in Sylhet reported that Sylhet Agricultural University students attacked Udar Paribahan bus counter near the campus and vandalised seven buses Saturday evening, about an hour after a bus of the company killed their fellow Wasim Afnan running him over after pushing him off the bus.
Students said that 11 students of the university, while returning from Bangladesh Agricultural University in Mymensingh, locked in an altercation with the bus staff over fare. Ten of them got down in Sherpur crossing in Moulvibazar while Wasim was pushed off the bus and run over by it at about 5:00pm.
Sherpur highway police officer-in-charge Kamrul Islam said that they rushed to the spot, recovered the body and sent it to Sylhet Osmani Medical College Hospital for a post mortem examination.
‘The bus driver and his assistant managed to flee leaving the bus on the spot,’ he said.
New Age correspondent in Munshiganj, quoting Hasara highway police officer-in-charge Golam Morshed Talukder, reported that Antar died on the spot as a Banaphul Paribahan bus running on the wrong lane on Dhaka-Mawa highway hit him at Medinimandal while he was crossing the road at about 2:00pm.
Local people seized the bus, but the driver and his assistant managed to flee.
As the news spread, students of the victim’s school and local people took to the street and began protests for arrest and punishment of the driver and his assistant and for safe roads.
They withdrew the blockade after about an hour on assurance from the administration to meet the demands, said Lauhajang upazila nirbahi officer Md Kabirul Islam Khan.
In Gazipur, Nasir and his classmates – Rabin and Al-Amin – fell on Dhaka-Mymensingh highway after an auto-rickshaw hit their motorcycle and Nasir was run over by a Soukhin Paribahan bus at Dakhkhin Salna, said sadar police station sub-inspector Shahidul Alam.
He said that local people and police rescued the two injured and rushed them to Shaheed Tajuddin Ahmed Medical College hospital from where doctors referred Rabin to Dhaka. He died on way to Dhaka, he said.
New Age Correspondent in Barishal reported that students of Government BM College formed a human chain and blocked road at Barishal central bus terminal at Nathullabad protesting against Friday’s road accident that killed seven people including BM College student Shila Rani.
Students of other educational institutions also expressed their solidarity with BM College students demanding capital punishment for the bus driver and safe roads.
Barishal city mayor Serniabad Sadik Abdullah rushed the spot and calmed the situation and the students withdrew their blockade at about 12:30pm.
In Narsingdi, students blocked Dhaka-Sylhet highway at about 11:00am at Baraicha of Belabo protesting against Thursday’s death of a Class VII schoolboy and demanding speed breaker and footbridge at Baraicha bus stop.
The students withdrew their protests at about 12:30pm when Belabo upazila nirbahi officer Shamima Sharmin assured them of meeting their demands.
New Age correspondent in Jashore reported that schoolchildren blocked the Benapole-Jashore road at Navaran of Sharsha at about 8:00am for road safety and compensation for Navaron Barujbagan Pilot Girls High School Class VI student Moftahul Jannat Nipa who lost her leg as a covered van hit the rickshaw van carrying her on Wednesday.
The students withdrew their blockade at about 10:30am when local administration assured them of meeting their demands.
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