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Home minister: Government will meet students’ demands to ensure justice, road safety

  • Published at 04:36 pm August 1st, 2018
File photo of Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal

Announcement comes after students of different schools and colleges cripple Dhaka for a fourth straight day

Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal has said the government has agreed to meet all the demands of students demanding justice for two college students killed by a speeding bus on Dhaka’s Airport Road.

“The demands of the students are logical. The government has accepted all of their terms. Measures are already underway to gradually implement them,” he told reporters on Wednesday, after a meeting at his ministry in the capital.

Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan, State Minister for Rural Development and Co-operatives Division, Md Mashiur Rahman Ranga, Inspector General of Police, Javed Patwari, Dhaka Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Asaduzzaman Mia, and bus owners’ association leader, Enayetullah, attended that meeting.

The home minister, however, asked the students to put an end to their protests, as the government was meeting their demands, considering the suffering of the general people, and sought assistance of their parents and teachers.

Diya Khanam Mim and Abdul Karim Rajib, students of Shaheed Ramiz Uddin School and College, were killed when a Jabal-e-Noor Paribahan bus ran them over on Sunday. The bus had ploughed through a group of students in front of Kurmitola General Hospital on Airport Road.

Since then, students’ protest had spread across Dhaka and several other cities, shutting down roads and causing immense public sufferings.

Terming the July 29 road crash as tragic, Kamal said legal measures were being taken against those responsible. “Registrations of the two Jabal-e-Noor Paribahan buses have been cancelled and their drivers and assistants arrested. Maximum punishment of the perpetrators will be ensured.”

He did not put any blame on the students, saying: “The children are demonstrating over logical demands. But some vested quarters are burning and breaking vehicles using their movement.”

“In the last three days, a total of 309 vehicles have been vandalized and eight others torched. Of them, two belonged to police and one to Fire Service,” he said.

Yesterday, thousands of students of various educational institutions occupied prominent intersections and streets of Dhaka for the fourth day, pushing the authorities to meet their demands.

The home minister said steps were being taken from Wednesday to check the vehicles’ fitness, registration, route permit and the drivers’ licences before they start plying the streets.

“The vehicle owners and workers will help BRTA during these checks and police will oversee the whole matter.”

Apart from blockading roads, students on Wednesday were seen checking the driving licences and vehicle registrations around the city – which they said was aimed at raising mass awareness.

The minister also said that the law was equal for all and it did not matter how powerful those responsible for such incidents were.