• Wednesday, Jan 26, 2022
  • Last Update : 03:32 am

Protesters demand capital punishment for drivers, bus torched

  • Published at 10:03 am March 19th, 2019
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Students from several universities protest in front of Jamuna Future Park area following the death of a student in road accident on Tuesday, March 19, 2019 Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune

BUP student Shamim Al Hasan pressed the demand via a handout on Tuesday

Demonstrators—while protesting the death of a student in a road accident in Dhaka—have pressed home their 8-point demand to ensure road safety, including capital punishment for drivers found guilty of causing road deaths.

Protesters chanted slogans demanding the death penalty for drivers who cause road deaths.

Shamim Al Hasan, a 4th year Law Department student of Bangladesh University of Professionals (BUP), pressed the demands through a handout around 1pm on Tuesday.

Their demands include the complete removal of political influence from the transport sector, and consistent vetting of every bus drivers’ legal documents; such as of drivers’ licenses.

Additional demands include ensuring the speedy trial and capital punishment of drivers and anyone responsible for road accidents; and taking steps for the removal of buses without fitness and drivers licenses from the streets, as soon as possible.

Plus, they demand underpasses, speed breakers, foot overbridges be constructed in risky areas of the city, that the existing laws to prosecute the drivers responsible for road deaths—to the highest extent of the law—be amended; and that steps be taken against suspect administration officials and traffic police personnel, if evidence of their negligence is found.

They concluded that steps must be taken to halt competitive driving practices, and for the construction of more bus stops; and students must be offered half-price passes for bus rides across the city, or separate bus services.Students from several universities have blocked the road in front of Jamuna Future Park area following the death of a student in road accident on Tuesday, March 19, 2019 |Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka TribuneAbrar Ahmed Chowdhury—an honours first year student of the International Relations Department at the BUP—was knocked down by a Suprovat Paribahan bus while crossing the road around 7:15am on Tuesday, killing him on the spot.

Bus torched

Around 12:35, a bus was torched at the Jamuna Future Park area during the ongoing road safety protest. However, the flames were doused by a team of BUP students after around ten minutes.

No further incidents of violence have been reported till the filing of this report.

Traffic gridlock

Responding to a query, Gulshan police station Officer-in-Charge Abu Bakar Siddique said: “We are trying to remove the protesting students peacefully. University authorities have arrived in the area to diffuse the situation.

“The demonstration has caused a gridlock in the area. We have created a diversion through the Gulshan link road, Norda, and Baridhara areas, so that traffic can pass through until the situation is resolved.”

Protests broke out in Dhaka—and across the country in July last year—demanding safe roads and justice, after two students died in a road accident on Dhaka's Airport Road.

Shaheed Ramiz Uddin School and College students Diya Khanam Mim and Abdul Karim Rajib were killed—and several others were injured—when a bus of “Jabal-e-Noor Paribahan” ploughed into a group of students on July 29, 2018.

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