Hundreds of students staged a demonstration in Sylhet city on Sunday and demanded capital punishment for the bus staff responsible for the death of Sylhet Agricultural University (SAU) student Gori Mohammad Wasim.
They blocked busy Chowhatta intersection in the city for several hours from 11:00am to realise their five-point demand, including cancellation of the route permit of Udar Paribahan.Wasim, 21, a fourth year student of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering at SAU, was crushed under the wheels of a bus of Udar Paribahan after the bus staff allegedly pushed him out of the vehicle following an argument over fare on Dhaka-Sylhet highway at Sherpur in Moulvibazar on Saturday.
Traffic came to a halt for several hours on the busy intersection in the city due to the blockade.
Their demands include stopping unlicensed and unfit vehicles on roads and highways, steps against unskilled drivers and ensuring safety on roads.
The protesters also brought out a procession from the SAU campus and formed a human chain on Sylhet Central Shaheed Minar premises at noon. The teachers of SAU joined the movement and expressed their solidarity with the protesters.
At one stage, Azbahar Ali Sheikh, deputy commissioner (north) of Sylhet Metropolitan Police (SMP), requested the students of SAU and other educational institutions to return to their campuses due to hot weather taking public sufferings into consideration.
But they paid no heed to him and continued their movement.Former finance minister AMA Muhith also joined the student movement and expressed solidarity with the protesters at Chowhatta crossing.
Protester Mainul Hasan said, “Sherpur Highway Police told mass media that it was a road accident. But we claim that it was a planned murder.” A classmate of Wasim said the victim and his 10 other classmates got on the bus (Dhaka Met V-14-1280) from Dhaka-Sylhet highway at Sherpur.
They were locked in an altercation with the bus staff over not having seats and fare. At one stage, the helper of the bus pushed him out of the bus, leaving him under its wheels, they said.
Wasim was the son of Gori Mohammad Jahed Mahmud of Roudra village at Nabiganj upazila of Habiganj.
Earlier on March 19, a bus of Supravat Paribahan ran over Abrar Ahmed Chowdhury, a student of army-run Bangladesh University of Professionals (BUP), at Nadda in the capital.
After the news of his death spread, students of BUP and other universities demonstrated blocking Pragatai Sarani in the capital. They postponed their movement for a week as per request of Dhaka North City Corporation Mayor Atiqul Islam.
The death of two students -- Abdul Karim Rajib and Dia Khanam Meem of Shaheed Ramiz Uddin Cantonment School and College at Kurmitola in the capital -- in a road crash involving two buses of Jabal-e-Noor Paribahan on July 29 last year triggered countrywide student movement for safe roads.