Ankit Sharma Sharma
Green tea Addict | A Tree Hugger | Born for Change
The Dhaka student protest doesn’t show any sign of neutralising since it’s onset on Sunday. Students claim that they were left with no choice but to take the roads to demand action after one of the two buses rammed into a group of students, killing two students on the spot and leaving many injured.
Reports suggest that a Jabal-e-Noor Paribahan bus was responsible for claiming the lives of Dia Khanam Mim and Abdul Karim Rajib – the students while racing with another bus of the same company. Md Shahadat Hossain, the owner of the bus has been arrested. The buses of Dhaka are reportedly said to be very accident prone and boisterous with previous records of accidents as well.
The protest has only seen a steady rise with student’s resuming the duties of traffic force checking the licenses of commuters. The students have come out in huge numbers causing a chock-a-block around many parts of the city. The protest took a violent turn on Thursday when the students set a traffic sergeant’s bike on fire since he refused to show his license, according to Dhaka Tribune. According to The Independent, Student protests also gripped other districts of Bangladesh including Sylhet, Khulna, Gazipur, Chandpur, Thakurgaon, Habiganj, Bandarban, Tangail, Bogura, Panchagarh, Bhola, Jashore and Kishoreganj.
Ilias Kanchan who is a veteran actor arranged for the formation of a human chain on Friday around 11 is, as a mark of support to the students. Having lost his wife, Jahanara Kanchan to a road accident in 1993, Mr Kanchan has been an active road activist, with an NGO called “Nirapad Sharak Chai” under his name.
Posted by ইলিয়াস কাঞ্চন/নিরাপদ নিউজ on Thursday, August 2, 2018
“If the government had implemented the suggestions we made 25 years ago, these incidents could have been avoided. We asked the government to allocate a budget to set up training institutions for drivers, but this has not been done—even in this year’s budget. I asked protesters to refrain from vandalizing vehicles so that vested parties cannot take control of the movement. The demands of the students need to be implemented from Sunday. If this does not happen then I, myself, will take to the streets with the students”, said Kanchan in a statement made to Dhaka Tribune.
As an attempt to initiate immediate action, the students have reportedly drafted a “Nine-point” demand including capital punishment for irresponsible driving, as reported by bdnews24. The students maintain that they will continue their protests until their demands are met and are effective immediately. To avoid further escalation of the matter at hand, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina reportedly agreed to implement the nine-point demands with few demands already being met by the traffic authorities.
Over 317 vehicles have been vandalized, and eight were burned over the past six days of protest. Since the demands of the students are underway, authorities urge and hope for the anger of the students to refuse to bring back functionality.
Two young students lost their lives and many were injured in a fierce accident by the bus. According to reports, more than 2400 people have died in road accidents in the last year, in Bangladesh. We urge the Government of Bangladesh to take steps for improving the road safety in the country. We also urge the students that vandalizing vehicles is not a solution to get justice for fellow students, who lost their lives, last Sunday. Culprits should not be spared.
Also published on Medium.
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