Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday called upon all to refrain from spreading propaganda through social media, saying her government has built digital Bangladesh not for spreading falsehood.
“Don’t give ear to rumours. Digital Bangladesh has been built for proper education, not for hurling abusive words and spreading falsehood. So, all should refrain from such acts,” she said.The premier made the call while laying the foundation stone of an underpass adjacent to Shaheed Ramiz Uddin Cantonment College on Airport Road in the capital.
The government has taken the move to build a underpass there following July 29 road crash that killed two students of the college — Dia Khanam Mim and Abdul Karim Rajib.
Aggrieved students of different schools and colleges staged peaceful demonstration in the capital for a week, demanding measures to ensure road safety.
At one stage, the peaceful demonstration turned violent due to rumours spread through different social sites.
Sheikh Hasina said everyone is now using mobile phones thanks to the measures taken by her government.
“Modern technology like 4G is available now. Mobile phone users can browse facebook and youtube,” she added.The premier advised people not to believe in rumours, which she said triggered recent violence.
“This technology is being used for spreading rumours to create unrest. Even senior citizens, some of them I rewarded for their good deeds, started spreading falsehood. This can’t be tolerated,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said the reckless driving caused the death of the two students and injuries to many others.
“We will never forgive them. Those responsible for the death for the two students, must be given exemplary punishment,” she added.
Students took to the streets with a nine-point demand, including capital punishment for the death of the two students in a road crash caused by reckless driving.
In the wake of countrywide protest, the government endorsed the Road Transport Act 2018 keeping a provision of five years’ jail and fine for death or injuries caused by reckless driving.
The premier directed all government officials to discharge duties sincerely.
“Our children have opened up our eyes, awakening our conscience….. So, I hope that everybody in their respective field will perform their duty and responsibility as per the expectations of the people, particularly young generarion,” she said.
Everybody, including drivers and helpers, must abide by traffic rules, she said, adding “all city buses should not overtaske while running on the streets; otherwise instant action will be taken against the law-breakers.
Sheikh Hasina said a third party wearing school uniforms and wielding lethal weapons attempted to take benefit from the student movement.
She said they (students) became scared seeing some bringing out Chinese axe, stone and other weapons from bags. “I then urged them to return back to class rooms as the third party infiltrated into the movement. They retuned back to the classes on time,” she said.
The premier mentioned that members of the law enforcement agencies were insulted during the movement. “But they did nothing as the protesters were the students,’’ she added.
Mentioning the steps taken by the government for safe movement of students in the city, the premier said zebra crossings will be marked on all intersections.
Besides, traffic police will be on duty in front of all schools and colleges at opening and closing time of the institutions, she added.
If necessary, students of upper classes will provide volunteer service to traffic police, she said, adding that use of underpasses and overpasses should be ensured.
The premier said it’s not possible to compensate a family for the death of their child, but her government has made all possible efforts to stand by the families of the dead and injured students.
She thanked the Bangladesh Army for taking the responsibility of constructing the underpass, hoping that it will be built in a shortest possible time.
The 43-meter long underpass with two bus bays and 500-meter footpath will have special arrangement for cyclists and people with disabilities.
The 24 Engineering Construction Brigade of Bangladesh Army will construct the underpass with GOB fund of Tk 54 crore within one year.
Road, transport and bridges minister Obaidul Kader, education minister Nurul Islam Nahid, Chief of Army Staff General Aziz Ahmed, among others, spoke on the occasion.
PM’s adviser HT Imam, Chiefs of Bangladesh Air Force and Bangladesh Navy and senior civil and military officials were were present.