After the capital Dhaka, the student movement for half bus fare and safe road has spread to other district towns in the country.
Despite police efforts, students of various schools, colleges and universities staged demonstrations in Rampura Bridge area of the capital on Thursday to press home their nine-point demands, including road safety and half bus fare.
Agitating students alleged that protesters had come to Rampura Bridge area for a non-violent protest earlier in the day, but were turned away by police as ‘there weren’t enough protesters’.
The government and the police do not want peaceful protest, they alleged. “There were 10-15 of us so they didn’t let us stay. But now we have returned in force and are holding our demonstration. No matter what obstacles we face, even if our lives are in danger, we will continue our protests,” said a protester.
The protesters chanted slogans like ‘Police cannot stop our movement’, ‘Attacks will not stop our movement’, ‘Threats will not deter our movement’, ‘We want safe roads’, and ‘We want justice’.
The protesters also held a two-minute silence in memory of those killed in road accidents.
“We cannot allow them to take up positions here,” Nurul Amin, additional deputy commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police Khilgaon Zone, told the media. “If they do, it will create unrest. We know this. It will interfere with the regular flow of traffic.”
Students from Motherland School and College had gathered at Hatirjheel intersection of Rampura Bridge area around 12:45pm.They said they were preparing a human chain protest when police interfered.
Students have blocked the road in Rampura Bridge area for the past few days as part of an ongoing movement for road safety. The death of Md Mainuddin, an SSC student from Ekramunnessa High School, in a bus accident aggravated the protests further.
The demonstrations have caused heavy congestion in the area for the past few days, but the traffic situation seemed to be normal on Thursday.
Meanwhile, students of different schools and colleges formed a human chain and staged a demonstration in Noakhali demanding effective and safe roads for students.
The programme was held at the corner of Maijdi town hall of the district town under the banner of general students on Thursday morning. From Thursday morning, students of different educational institutions of the town started gathering at the corner of town hall.
At 10:30 in the morning, they held a human chain with banners and festoons with various writings. At the time, the students said, half the rent is not a begging, it is the right of the students.
Poor students do not live only in Dhaka. There are poor students in all districts and upazilas of the country. Therefore, they demanded half the fare from the students in all public transport across the country.
At the same time, the students called upon the government to ensure safe roads. At that time, they said many lives are being lost every day due to the chaos on the road.
Many mothers are losing their children while children are becoming orphan. But the government has taken no effective initiative to prevent road accidents.
The students demanded ensuring safe roads by taking effective measures to stop road accidents immediately.