Student protesters call for countrywide boycot of classes

Student protesters call for countrywide boycot of classes

Prothom Alo English Desk |Mar 19, 2019

BUP student movement

University students and locals of Pragati Sarani area block road in front of Jamuna Future Park to protest against the death of a BUP student in a road crash on 19 March, 2019. Photo: Abdus Salam

The university students who were protesting against road accident on Tuesday called for boycotting classes in all educational institutions across the country on Wednesday to press for their eight-point demand, reports UNB.

The demands include maximum punishment of the bus driver responsible for the death of one of their fellows in a road accident in the capital on Tuesday morning.

They said they will lay a siege in front of Bashundhara Gate at Pragati Sarani on Wednesday morning and urged the students of all the educational students to demonstrate in front of their respective institutions to express solidarity with the demands.

Maisha Noor, a student of Bangladesh University of Professionals (BUP), announced the programme while talking to reporters after withdrawing their road blockade in the afternoon. The student blocked the road following the death of their fellow student Abrar Ahmed Chowdhury in the road crash.

“Our movement will continue from Wednesday morning. We call on the students of all educational institutions to boycott their classes and express their solidarity with us staying in front of their respective institutions,” she said.

Abrar, son of retired brigadier general Arif Ahmed Chowdhury of Bashundhara area and a bachelor’s 1st year student of International Relations Department of the university, died as a ‘Suprovat Paribahan’ bus ran him over in front of the Bashundhara Gate around 7:15am.

Angered by the accident, students from North South University, Independent University of Bangladesh, American International University of Bangladesh and others took to the street and blocked the road in front of Jamuna Future Park, halting the traffic movement from Kuril Bishwaroad to Bhatara.

Miasha said their movement is the continuation of the past year’s road safety movement and it will continue until their demands are met.

She sought their security from law enforcers during the movement saying they do not want to see any bloodshed like that during the road safety movement of last year.

Their demands include checking of necessary papers, including driving licences on a regular basis, making transport sector free from political influence, construction of foot bridges and speed breakers on all risky roads and stopping plying of unfit vehicles.

Mentioning that their movement is not any political one, the BUP student said they will not allow any political party’s participation in it, urging the students to take part in the movement with their identity cards.

Meanwhile, newly-elected vice-president of Dhaka University Central Students’ Union (DUCSU) Nurul Haq Nur expressed his solidarity with the students in the afternoon.

He went to the spot after 4pm and expressed his solidarity with them.

The road blockade created huge traffic gridlock in the adjacent areas.

The students were chanting slogans demanding capital punishment of the bus driver who was arrested soon after the accident.

Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) Mayor Atiqul Islam went to the area and talked to the protesting students.

While talking to the mayor, the students demanded capital punishment of the driver and building of a footbridge in the area.

Aitqul assured the students of fulfilling their demands.

However, the agitating students set the killer bus on fire around 12:30pm which was doused by local people.

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