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Friday, August 3, 2018 11:11:01 PM
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Protests continue : Students for safe roads, transport workers seek security: Several vehicles torched and vandalised

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Agitating students take to streets for 6th consecutive day and barricaded the Mirpur-10 intersection also on Friday (holiday) seeking safety roads across the country.

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Md Joynal Abedin Khan :
The students took to the streets of capital Dhaka for the sixth consecutive day on Friday morning, demanding justice for death of their two fellow college students in road accident.  
They have been on the movement to press home their nine-point demands, including checking lisences of drivers and valid documents of vehicles as per traffic system.
The movement sparked off after Diya Khanam Mim and Abdul Karim Rajib, students of class XI and XII of Shaheed Ramiz Uddin School and College, were killed after a Jabal-e-Noor Paribahan bus ploughed through some their fellows in the capital on July 29.
The transport workers have also staged demonstration in capital Dhaka and in some cities and districts to protest the torching and vandalism of vehicles. They also refrained to operate buses on the city streets, inter-districts roads and highways for an indefinite period to ensure their safety.
They suspended the plying of buses due to security reasons for the drivers and bus staff on the roads. Earlier, the bus owners and workers demonstrated in the city's Kafrul, Gabtali, Mirpur, Kakrail, Gulisahrtan, Sayedabad, Narayangaj, Cumilla, Chattogram, Gazipur, Jashore, Rangpur and Sylhet districts demanding stop students harassaments in the name of licenses checking and torching and vandalism.
At least 400 buses were vandalized and several dozens torched by the students in last five days, claimed Khondaker Enayet Ullah, Secretary General Bangladesh Road Transport Owners Association.
He also said that they did not call strike, but they suspended the bus operating due to safety measures.
In this circumstance, public sufferings reached at peak point in the city and other districts making history in recent months.
The people's sufferings have turned enormous on the city streets, national roads and highways during the students' ongoing demonstration for 'road safety'. On the other hand, transport workers' suspended vehicles off the city streets and on the inter-city highways since Thursday demanding 'security'.      
In the capital, angry demonstrators set a bus on fire after it ran over a motorcycle rider near Moghbazar Wireless Gate area on Friday afternoon, amid ongoing protests by students across the country.
The deceased was identified as one Saiful Islam, 22, said Sub-Inspector Bachchu Mia, In-charge of Dhaka Medical College (DMCH) Police Outpost.
The incident took place around 1:40pm when a bus of Satkhira Paribahan hit the motorcycle from behind, leaving Saiful seriously injured, the SI said.
He was rushed to DMCH where doctors declared him dead around 2:15pm, the police official added.
Later, an agitated mob set fire to the bus. Three units of firefighters rushed to the spot and extinguished the fire, according to fire service control room.
The victim, Saiful Islam, was working as a male nurse. He was returning to his residence in city's Goran area after finishing his duty at Moghbazar when the accident took place, said Maruf Hossain Sardar, Deputy Commissioner (Ramna Zone) of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP).
The driver of the bus has been detained, the police official added.
Meanwhile, a school student died hit by a truck on Dhaka-sukhipur raod at Beltali in Sukhipur upazila of Tangail district on Friday.
The deceased has been identified as Sadia Jahan, 15, daughter of Azharul Islam. She was student of class IX at Barchouna high school in the upazila, said S M Tuhin Ali, Officer-in-Charge of Sukhipur Police Station.
The locals vandalized five vehicles and set fire to two buses as a protest of the tragic death.
In Mirpur, agitating students poured onto the streets in Dhaka protesting attack on their fellows allegedly by police and "ruling party men" in the capital's Kafrul on Thursday.
The students have assumed the role of traffic police as they did in the last five days, checking driving licences and fitness certificates, and seizing the keys of the vehicles without valid papers.
Around 150 students were seen controlling traffic movement in Dhanmondi 27 area from Manik Mia Avenue to Rapa Plaza intersection around 11:30am.
They were also guiding people to use zebra crossing, telling them to use footpaths and making separate lanes for private cars, CNG-run auto-rickshaws, bikes, and emergency lane for ambulances.
Also, several hundred students thronged Mirpur-10 intersection in continuation of their demonstration demanding safe roads and justice for the deaths of their two peers on Sunday.
Students, guardians, and concerned citizens formed human chains and staged
Meanwhile, inter-district bus communication remained suspended in Habiganj, Sunamganj, Sylhet, Cumilla, Barishal, Madaripur, Rajshahi, Rangpur, Joypurhat, Mymensingh, Chuadanga, Jhenaidah, Kushtia, Khulna and Chandpur districts, our local correspondents report quoting transport owners and workers.
Abdur Rahim Box Dudu, Senior Vice-Chairman of Bangladesh Road Transport Workers' Federation, said that the bus owners and workers in different districts halted their transport services fearing lack of security as some vehicles were vandalised by agitating students in different areas.
"It is not a formal strike from the association," he said.
Zamiran Begum, 70, who was waiting at Gabtoli Bus Terminal with two minor grandchildren for over four hours, said, "I have to go to Satkhira but I don't know how I will go there."

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