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News > World

Bangladesh: Thousands Continue to Protest Road Safety After Two Killed by Speeding Bus

  • Students blockade a road.

    Students blockade a road. | Photo: Reuters

Published 5 August 2018

Local media also reported the students were beaten up by the political activists belonging to the ruling Awami party.

Students continue to clash, block roads in Bangladesh after two students were killed by a speeding bus last week in the capital city of Dhaka. 

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Thousands of students from various schools and colleges took to streets meddling with traffic in Dhaka to protest poor road safety measures for the eighth consecutive day. According to the BBC, nearly 50 protesters have been injured in street attacks, as the police fired tear gas to disperse crowds on Sunday.  

"It was a peaceful rally but suddenly police fired tear gas shells aimed at us [that] left several injured," Mohammad Atikur Rahman, one of the protesters, told DPA news agency. 

Local media also reported that students were beaten up by the political activists belonging to the ruling Awami party. On Sunday, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina called on students to return home. "I request all guardians and parents to keep their children at home. Whatever they have done is enough," said Hasina. "Our police force has started a week-long drive to bring discipline on the roads." 

A number of journalists were also beaten and had their cameras taken away, reportedly by ruling Awami League party members, Al Jazeera noted. 

"Nothing can justify the brutal attacks and violence over the weekend against the thousands of young people who have been peacefully exercising their democratic rights," a statement on the embassy's Facebook page noted. 

Amid the chaotic conditions, the local government has ordered the telecommunications companies to suspend 3G and 4G services for a day, late Saturday, the Dhaka Tribune, an English-language daily, reported. 

Jahirul Haq, chairman of the Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission, told AFP news that regulators had received an order from the government, but didn't give further details.  

The protests have sparked discussion about the traffic risks in the densely populated country, where over 4,000 people die in road accidents each year, one of the world’s highest rates, according to the World Bank. 

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