Dhaka students' demo against reckless driving for third day

Dhaka students’ demo against reckless driving for third day

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Dhaka, March 21 – Hundreds of students from different universities yesterday gathered at Bashundhara Gate in Pragati Swarani and formed a human chain to voice and showcase their protests against reckless driving that killed Abrar Hossain Chowdhury, a student of Bangladesh University of Professionals (BUP).
They stood in unison for three and hour with placards that say “We want justice.” They covered their faces with black clothes with placards in hand during the demonstration.
On behalf of the students, Fahim Chowdhury, a BUP student gave statements in which he reiterated their positions of going into protest again if their eight-point demands are not met.
“The mayor of Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) Atiqul Isalm asked for seven days and we gave him that. We will hit the road again on Sunday to observe our protest program,” he said.
Earlier, on Wednesday Agitating students from different universities came down on the roads with fresh demands for making the roads safe.
They blocked major thoroughfares across the capital for a large part of the day.
The protesting students met with Atiqul Islam, the students postponed their agitation up until March 28.
On yesterday day students from BUP and the American International University of Bangladesh (AIUB) gathered at Bashundhara Gate.
Later, the police came and asked them to move. After speaking with law enforcers the students shifted the demonstration to the road in front of Jamuna Future Park.
The students chanted slogans calling for road safety and for the driver responsible for the death of Abrar Ahmed Chowdhury to be given the death sentence.
The protesting students also gave flowers to the police personnel on the spot as they were helping the students to continue their peaceful protest.
Traffic on Pragati Sarani was relatively normal on yesterday given that there were no road blockades.
“We didn’t receive any news of roads being blocked in Rampur, Badda and Pragati Sarani,” said MA Ahmed Humayun, Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) Badda Zone Additional Deputy Commissioner.
Meanwhile, construction work of the foot overbridge has begun in front of Bashundhara gate, which has been named after Abrar Ahmed.
On Thursday, Workers were seen piling the ground beside the foundation plaque of the bridge today.
The foundation plaque was unveiled before the protesting students yesterday by Dhaka North City Corporation Mayor Atiqul Islam, which bore the name of Abrar.
However, in another event, Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) commissioner Asaduzzaman Mia yesterday accepted the failure of both his forces and the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA)
regarding the absence of discipline on road and reckless driving by the drivers.
The commissioner said the government authorities including DMP and BRTA failed to enforce traffic discipline on Dhaka Street.
He said this while addressing the ‘Traffic Awareness Programme’ at Mohanagar Natya Mancha in the capital.
“When any accidents take places, we stand on the dock. We cannot answer it but it needs to change. We have to take some steps in the traffic system. Now the law will have to be applied strictly.
Legal steps will also be taken against any pedestrians who have caused this accident since this time,” said the commissioner.
He reiterated the call to the bus owners to abolish the system of daily contracts with drivers and their helpers to bring discipline on roads.
Asaduzzaman also said tougher actions will be taken against unfit vehicles and no random parking will be allowed in the city.
He sought help and cooperation of the agitating students to restore traffic discipline on Dhaka roads.
Meanwhile, BRTA yesterday formed a five-member probe committee to scrutinize the papers of these two bus services of Dhaka city.
However, Earlier, the day Rajshahi University and Chittagong University students demonstrated in solidarity with the protest for safer roads in Dhaka.
Students of Rajshahi University demonstrated for one-and-half hours blocking Rajshahi-Dhaka highway in protest yesterday morning.
They hit the street around 9:30 am near the campus’ main gate and held their position till 11:00 am, quoting our university correspondent.
Several hundred students of Chittagong University formed a human chain in the university’s Central Shaheed Minar yesterday morning.
Earlier, on Tuesday, Abrar Ahmed Chowdhury was killed as a bus of Shuprobhat Paribahan ran him over while he was reportedly using a zebra crossing near the capital’s Bashundhara Residential Area
Abrar, himself a road safety campaigner, met this tragic end while DMP was observing traffic week to bring discipline on the city streets. – Staff Reporter

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