A student of Notre Dame College was run over and killed by a waste-carrying vehicle of Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) in Gulistan area of the capital on Wednesday, triggering a student demonstration.
The deceased was identified as Nayeem Hasan, a second-year student of the college in Motijheel area.
Nayeem was rushed to Dhaka Medical College Hospital where doctors declared him dead. The body was taken to the hospital morgue for autopsy.
Talking to the Daily Sun, Officer-in-Charge of Paltan Police Station Salahuddin Mia said police arrested the driver, Rasel Khan, and seized the vehicle.
Shah Alam, father of the victim, said he was on the way to his college from his Kamrangirchar residence in the capital.
"Why did I send my son to college today? He said 'goodbye' before leaving home, but he left the world," the wailing father kept saying. Shah Alam said he and his son left their Kamrangirchar home at the same time in the morning.
"I was on my way to my book shop in Nilkhet while my son was going to college… Reckless driving took his life," he told journalists in the hospital.
Sources say that drivers of Waste Management Department (WMD) collect waste, violating the direction of DSCC Mayor Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh as he directed the department to collect and transport the waste between 6:00pm to 6:00am.
But, many cleaners and drivers collect and transport waste in the day time.
Asked, DSCC Waste Management Officer Motaleb Mia said, “The mayor had a direction to collect and transport waste in the day time, but our city residents are not accustomed to the practice. They keep waste on roads and VIP areas in the daytime. That's why we have to collect and transport it in the daytime.”
He said the vehicle that ran over the student was carrying waste from the Dhaka University area.
With the latest accident, DSCC waste-carrying vehicles ran over and killed at least three people in the last 11 months.
Many city-dwellers said drivers drive garbage trucks dangerously and accident is commonplace on Jatrabari, Demra, and Gulistan roads on the way to the dumping ground in Matuail.
A DSCC official wishes to remain anonymous crisis of registered drivers as drivers are escaping legal action through arbitration with the family members of the victims.
On 17 April, rickshaw-puller Mostafa was killed and his two passengers were injured as a garbage truck of DSCC hit the rickshaw in Jatrabari area.
In March, another DSCC vehicle hit a leader of the central executive body of Bangladesh Chhatra League under Mayor Hanif Flyover, injuring him badly.
On 20 January, Khalid Hossain, 55, an employee of Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS), was run over by a garbage truck near Dayaganj intersection.
The source also said DSCC vehicles are often run by helpers, cleaners, and unregistered drivers as there are only 147 registered drivers against 513 vehicles.
They further said DSCC has appointed 200 drivers on a ‘No Work No Pay’ basis. It is unknown who drive the remaining 166 vehicles.
DSCC General Manager (Transport) Bipul Chandra was not available for comments over phone.
Meanwhile, students of Notre Dame College staged a demonstration against their fellow Nayeem’s death. The protesters demanded exemplary punishment for the driver of the vehicle.
During the demonstration, the agitating student blocked the road in the area.
They withdrew the blockade after the mayor assured the Father (Principal) of the college that they would punish the culprit.
The demonstrators placed six-point demands, including strengthening of traffic management system and giving compensation to the family of the victim.