By: Chandrashekar Bhat
HUGE crowds blockaded busy streets and harassed drivers in Dhaka on Thursday (25) to protest the death of a high school student in a road accident in the Bangladesh capital.
Thousands of uniformed students brought traffic to a standstill around Dhaka’s main commercial district and near the national parliament.
Others marched to the city mayor’s office, demanding a fast-track prosecution of the driver of a garbage truck accused of fatally running over the pupil.
“We won’t return home until we get justice,” Sabit Bin Arif, a protester, said.
“We want justice. We want the safety of our lives on the roads. How can we sit back when our friend got killed by such negligence?” the 18-year-old added.
Students were seen approaching vehicles – including police vans – and asking those behind the steering wheel to show their driving licences.
In 2018, similar street protests sparked by the deaths of two students in a bus accident grew into a nationwide movement that stopped traffic around the country for a week, prompting a government crackdown.
Authorities later introduced a road law, increasing punishments for reckless driving, but students participating in Thursday’s (25) protest said the measures did not go far enough.
“We won’t return home until our rights are ensured this time,” Israt Jahan Ivy, 17, said.
“We are not against the government. We just want safety on roads.”