Tuesday, 16 October, 2018

Bangladesh students protest over road safety after deadly crash

Bangladesh Student road safety protests engulf capital More than 100 students hurt during violent standoffs with police in Bangladesh, hospital says - but police deny anything happened
Mandy Jefferson | 08 August, 2018, 13:50

Hundreds of students were injured on Saturday when police reportedly fired rubber bullets into crowds, and tensions escalated again on Sunday.

Parts of Bangladeshi capital Dhaka ground to a halt for the seventh day running on Saturday as thousands of students staged protests calling for improvements to road safety after two teenagers were killed by a speeding bus.

The activists of AL's front organisations - Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) and its youth wing Awami Juba League physically attacked the journalists while they were reporting on the attacks on the students protesting at Science Lab and Jhigatola areas in Dhaka.

The PM's call came as authorities overnight shut down mobile internet services across swathes of the country.

Nihad El Aabedy and Raheela Mahomed report. In order to prevent tragic incidents like these happening in the future, students took to the streets to campaign for road safety.

Though buses returned to Dhaka roads in limited numbers after eight days of complete shutdown, protesters clashed with police at various parts of the city.

U.S. Ambassador to Bangladesh Marcia Bernicat's vehicle was "attacked" in Dhaka by a "group of armed adult men", the US Embassy has stated. "We will take action if that limit is exceeded", the minister said.

Several people including a journalist were injured in the clashes that began at around 10.45 a.m., reports bdnews24.

"We can confirm there was a protest near an event the Ambassador was attending this evening".

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The Bangladesh Student Protest is being run by 11-17 age group students who are not influenced by any political party. He lost a cousin in a road accident in Bangladesh and joined a protest in the Sydney suburb of Lakemba on Saturday.

A day earlier, witnesses reported seeing police fire rubber bullets and tear gas at demonstrators gathered in Jigatala.

"It's not true. Nothing happened at Jigatola", Dhaka police spokesman Masudur Rahman told The Telegraph.

The demonstrating students stopped thousands of vehicles during the protests, including those of top officials, checking if the cars were registered and the drivers licensed.

"Teenagers attacked Awami League's party office". They're calling for improvements to road safety in Bangladesh, where around 12,000 people are killed in road accidents each year, according to the Associated Press.

Meanwhile, a prominent photojournalist and human rights activist, Shahidul Alam, was detained by police on Sunday over Facebook posts relating to the protests.

The protesters are demanding safer roads in Bangladesh, where corruption is rife, making it easy for unlicensed drivers and unregistered vehicles to ply the roads.

The events in Dhaka have been compounded by the fact that the country's long-time ally India has recently made 4 million ethnic Bengalis in the Indian state of Assam effectively stateless by failing to list them on a registry of Indian citizens.

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