Friday, August 3, 2018 12:04:02 AM
Md Joynal Abedin Khan :
Thousands of students took the streets for the 5th consecutive day amid the closure of all educational institutions across the country on Thursday, to press home their nine-point demands for road safety.
School, college and university students staged demonstration at different points of city intersection, major roads and highways in the capital and several districts to meet their demands.
The protesting students wearing respective institutions' uniform checked the driving licenses and vehicles' necessary documents braving the rains on the city streets, district roads and highways.
At least 30 students were injured being allegedly beaten by police and ruling party men in the city's Mirpur, Shanir Akhara and Chattogram, Rajshahi, Faridpur and Chuadanga, districts during their safe road campaign.
BRTA sources said, the country's 18,69,000 drivers hold legal license while the number of vehicles is 35,44,009.
In the capital, around 1000 students took position at Shahbagh intersection in the city, blocking traffic. They also chanted slogans 'We want justice' and resignation of Shipping Minister'.
In Dhanmondi, Water Resources Minister Anwar Hossain Manju had an embarrassing moment on Thursday, when students stopped his car and found that his driver had no licence. The minister while passing through the area as protesting students were checking the validity of driver's licences.
They stopped the car and asked the driver to produce his licence, but he could not.
Minister Manju expressed his solidarity with the demands of protesters. Later he left the area.
When contacted, Minister Manju said, "I and my other staff had asked him [driver] about his driving licence before getting on the car, and he had told us that he had it. Later, when the students asked him to show his licence, he failed to produce it."
Students at Shahbagh stopped the car of prime minister's principle secretary Md Nojibur Rahman and asked the driver to show the car documents at around 12:00 pm. As the licence was expired the students asked the traffic police to file a case against the driver, said Traffic Sergeant Jafor Imam.
The demonstrating students also stopped two vehicles of the Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) and police vans in city.
Meanwhile, around 5,000 students took position at the Science Lab intersection blocking traffic movement since morning from at 2:00pm. Many protesting students were checking driving licenses stopping buses and private cars and others vehicles used by police in the area.
A group of students torched the motorcycle of a traffic sergeant of Dhaka Metropolitan Police after he refused to show his driving licence and misbehaved with the demonstrators near the Ladaid Hospital in Dhanmondi.
Several hundreds of protesters also brought out a procession in Farmgate. When they headed towards Karwan Bazar. A black Pajero SUV of a Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of police was coming down the road from Farmgate.
The students didn't leave the vehicle unchecked. They stopped it, asked his driver to show his licence and the car's registration papers. DIG Habibur Rahman of the river police was in the vehicle. The driver didn't have a driving licence nor did he have the car's registration papers.
Despite repeated requests from the DIG and other policemen present, the students refused to let him go and asked the official to get out of the car.
Aftr talking for sometime with the students, DIG Habib left the scene and entered a bank nearby.
Meanwhile, two students were injured after reportedly being hit by a 'police vehicle' in front of Rajarbag Police Lines in the afternoon.
Witnesses said a group of students were checking driving licenses of vehicles in front the gate No 1 of Rajarbag Police Lines. At one stage, they obstructed a police vehicle for checking its driving license. Being obstructed, the vehicle reportedly hit the students, leaving two students injured. The injured were then taken to a city hospital.
Students of Notre Dame, Motijheel Model and Ideal colleges blocked all link roads of Shapla Chattar creating a standstill in that area. They also checked license of all vehicles crossing the area.
In Mirpur, chase and counter-chase take place between police and demonstrating students near Kafrul police station. At least five protesting students have sustained injuries in police baton charge, which led to the hostility between the members of the law enforcement agency and students from different educational institutions who have gathered there.
Chhatra League and Jubo League activists along with police occupy the road between Mirpur 10 and 13. Students claimed that the activists and police were assaulting the protestors. The law enforcement officials are seen firing teargas shells and blanks to disperse the demonstrators.
A group of students of Rajdhani Ideal School and College gathered in Mouchak area in the city and continued their demonstrations.
Besides, students blocked streets at Dhanmondi 27, Kabi Nazrul Govt College road, House Building areas in Uttara, Science Laboratory area, in the morning.
Thousands of students who blocked streets including Dhaka-Mymensingh highway in Uttara, Air Port Road.
In Gulshan-2, a group of students took position at the Gulshan-2 intersection blocking traffic movement in the area around 11:00am.
In Badda Link Road, around 1,00 students were checking driving licenses stopping buses and private cars and others vehicles used by police in Badda Link-road area.
In Chattogram, students of several schools and colleges took to the streets demanding safe road. They also brought out rally at various points of the port city.
In Rajshahi, students staged demonstrations at Sahebbazar Zero point in the city and held a human chain there demanding safe road.
In Narayanganj, Shiddhirganj OC Abdus Sattar's car was stopped by the demonstrators ia Chashara in the district twoun on Thursday afternoon. The students did not allow the car as its driver had no licence.
In Feni, Police picked up six demonstrated students from the Trank Road in the district town in the Morning.
In Noakhali, students of diffenrent school and colleges brought out protest processions as part of countrwide ongoing movement demanding safe road.
In Gopalganj, students of different schools and colleges formed human chain blocking the road in front of Press Club around 11am as part of students ongoing movement.
Besides, Inter-district bus movement came to a halt as transport workers on Thursday staged demonstration in city's Gulistan Bus Terminal in protest against vandalism of buses during students movement. They cited security reason behind the suspension of bus services.
Police sources said no inter-district bus left Dhaka's Gabtoli, Sayedabad and Mohakhali bus terminals on Thursday morning.
Southern region-bound bus 'Satkhira Express' manager Borhan Ahmed said bus movement will remain suspended until normalcy in the streets.
Meanwhile, Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) on Thursday urged the agitating students to call off their movement.
"Government and police are working to fulfill all the demands of the students. I request you (agitators) to go back to your home," said Monirul Islam, Additional Commissioner of DMP at a briefing held at DMP media centre in Dhaka.
Monirul said, "There are many things that we can learn from our kids. Students showed the flaws of our duty performance. We are working accordingly," he added.
Emon, a second year student of Notre Dame College, said Home Minister's words are not enough for their assurance on road safety. Protest will continue until the demands are not meet, he added.
Mumu, a second year student of Motijheel Ideal School and college, said, "Road crashes are claiming lives of our brothers and sisters. Our Prime Minister herself made commitment on quota issue, but later she breached it. How could keep faith on the Home Minister's words."
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