Students attacked as protests continue for 7th straight day
Published : Saturday, 4 August, 2018 at 9:35 PM Count : 1454
An unspecified number of students were injured in attacks in different areas of the capital as the students took to the streets for the 7th consecutive day on Saturday, managing traffic and examining driving licences and documents of vehicles.
Witnesses said a group of 25-30 youths, said to be Bangladesh Chhatra League activists, swooped on the students with sticks in front of the BGB Jigatala gate around 2pm, leaving some of them injured.
They retreated when the students chased them with sticks and whatever they got around them. However, the youths regrouped and attacked the protesting students again around 3:30pm, leaving a number of the students injured.
Later, chase and counter-chase took place between the two groups several times. The agitated students also vandalised a police box in Science Lab area during the melee.
In Mirpur-2, around 50 youths, believed to be BCL men, swooped on the protesting students with sticks at 12 noon.
Students of different school and colleges took to the streets in most places of the capital boycotting classes and examinations.
They were seen regulating traffic, checking driving licences of drivers and papers of vehicles.
They allowed the vehicles to go only if they have valid documents and if the drivers have valid driving licences. They took the vehicles to on-duty traffic policemen if there are no licences or valid papers, asking them to file cases.
They were also seen creating different lanes for different modes of vehicles and forcing the drivers to maintain the lanes.
They were also seen asking pedestrians to use zebra crossing or footbridges for crossing roads.
Visiting different areas in the capital, UNB reporters found gatherings of students at many places, including Mouchak, Shantinagar, Shapla Chattar, Shahbagh, Science Lab intersection, Jigatala, Asad Gate, Mohammadpur, Bangla Motor intersection, Mirpur-10, Mirpur-2, Panthapath, Technical, Airport Road, Rampura, Badda and Uttara.
They were chanting slogans as usual, "We want justice".
Meanwhile, BCL leaders of Dhaka University unit expressed their solidarity with the student protests.
They went to Shahbagh intersection where some 1,000 students gathered and distributed chocolates and sweets among them.
People continued to suffer in the capital and elsewhere in the country as owners and workers kept their buses off the roads fearing vandalism amid the ongoing student movement for safe roads.
Bus owners on Friday stopped operating long-haul buses in different districts.
Although the bus operators resumed the services at night, they suspended it again in the morning.
No long-route buses left the capital from Mohakhali, Gabtali and Sayedabad bus terminals in the morning, said police.
Besides, bus services remained suspended in Chuadanga and Mymensingh for third the consecutive day and in Khulna, Natore, Joypurhat, Jhenidah, Kishoreganj, Bagerhat, Jashore, Meherpur and Chapainawabagnj for the second straight day.
Students also staged demonstrations in a number of districts across the country.
In Chattogram, students gathered at Agrabad, Wasa, Lalkhan,Tigerpass, Chawbazar, Didar Market and GEC intersection. They were seen managing traffic.
Police have arrested a Jatiyatabadi Mohila Dal leader for allegedly provoking the student protests.
Fatema Badshah, acting president of the city unit of Jatiyatabadi Mohila Dal, the female wing of BNP, was picked up from her residence at Supariwalapara in the city on Friday night.
In Rajshahi, students of different schools and colleges gathered at Zero Point at Saheb Bazar of the city around 10:30 am protesting the attack on students during their demonstrations seeking safe roads.
In Meherpur, police dispersed students when they tried to hold a human chain around 12 noon in front of the Press Club.
A transport strike called by transport owners and workers was underway in the district for the 2nd consecutive day.
In Gazaria of Munshiganj, local police and 'Awami League men' dispersed the demonstrators from Dhaka-Chattogram Highway around 10 am.
At noon, police arrested a youth, Imran Bhuiyan, son of Arshad Bhuiyan of Rasulpur village in Imampur union, over his Facebook post instigating the student protests.
In Sylhet, a forum of students launched a mass signature programme at the Central Shaheed Minar demanding safe roads around 12 pm.
Later around 1:30 pm, some miscreants attacked the students and torn apart the documents of mass signature programme, witnesses said.
In Khulna, police and local 'BCL men' dispersed the students while they gathered at Shibbari intersection, alleged protesters. Several demonstrators were arrested by police on Friday night, alleged protesters.
In Chandpur, protesters could not stand on the streets due to resistance by police and local Awami League men.
In Nilphamari, students from different educational institutions formed a human chain around 9 pm at Chaurasta intersection in the district town when they examined licences of several motor vehicles.
In Moulvibazar, students of different schools and colleges holding placards and festoons blocked Chaumohona intersection in the district town around 11 am.
In Satkhira, students formed a human chain around 10 am at Press Club and chanted slogans demanding justice for the road crash victims.
In Cumilla, students from different institutions blocked the Dhaka-Chittagong Highway in the morning and checked the licences of vehicles.
In Shariatpur, police did not allow students to stage demonstrations in front of the Shariatpur Government College.
In Kishoreganj, police approached the protesters with flowers expressing their solidarity with their demands and urging them to return homes.
In reply, the students left the road after holding their peaceful programme at Akhrabazar Bridge in the district town.
Besides, students gathered on roads in Brahmanbaria, Barishal, Natore and Chapainawabganj districts, and they were also checking the documents of vehicles.
Amid the ongoing student demonstrations demanding safe roads, another college girl was killed after being hit by a covered van at Barabari on Dhaka-Mymensingh Highway in Gazipur on Saturday which was later torched by an angry mob.
Amid the growing student movement over a nine-point demand, Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) Commissioner Asaduzzaman Mia on Saturday announced to observe Traffic Week across the country from Sunday.
"To reinforce discipline on roads and highways, we'll observe the Traffic Week across the country from Sunday," he said while addressing a press briefing at the DMP Media Centre.
During the Traffic Week, the DMP chief said, legal steps will be taken against unfit vehicles, drivers without licences and violation of traffic rules.
"Generally, we take the help of scouts and girls guides during the Traffic Week. If the protesting students want, they can assist us in managing traffic during the week," he said.
Mentioning that they morally support the student protests over the death of two of their fellows, Asaduzzaman said infiltrators entered the protesters to divert the movement into a different direction. "So, we're concerned about students' security," he said.
Citing reports of different intelligence agencies, social media and other sources, he said some infiltrators were trying to create anarchy and unleash violence during the movement.
On July 29, Diya Khanam Mim and Abdul Karim Rajib, students of the college section of Shaheed Ramiz Uddin School and College, were killed as a 'Jabal-e-Noor Paribahan' bus ploughed through some students in front of Kurmitola General Hospital on Airport Road which sparked off protests among the students across the country.
They have finally come up with a nine-point demand, including ensuring safety in roads and justice for the two students who were killed in a road accident in the capital, and resignation of Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan.