Students had demanded the minister’s resignation for downplaying the July 28 road crash that left two college students dead in Dhaka
Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan, who has been facing harsh criticism for trying to downplay a road accident in Dhaka that killed two college students, has said that he will not resign from his post.
“I will not step down. This is the BNP’s demand. I will not resign paying heed to BNP’s demand. The people and students did not call for my resignation, but I will do so if they want,” he told the Bangla Tribune on Thursday.
When asked, the minister also said that he would step down if Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina ordered.
On Sunday, two students of Shaheed Ramiz Uddin School and College were killed and several others injured when a speeding bus of Jabal-e-Noor Paribahan ploughed through a group of students standing in front of Kurmitola General Hospital on Dhaka’s Airport Road.
Students of the institution took to the streets immediately protesting their deaths, and vandalized that bus and many other vehicles.
Later in the day, Shajahan Khan, who is also the executive president of Bangladesh Road Transport Workers Federation, was visibly irked when journalists asked him about the deaths caused by an unhealthy competition between two buses and drivers becoming reckless because of him overlooking their faults.
“A road crash has claimed 33 lives in India’s Maharashtra; but do they talk about it the way we do?” he asked while grinning.
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His reaction resulted into an uproar among general people, especially students, prompting many to take to social media to express their anger and demand his resignation.
Even the prime minister rebuked him. The shipping minister, however, apologised to the nation later, but added that his resignation would not solve the ongoing crisis.
Shajahan on Wednesday also met the family of victim Diya Khanam Mim and apologised to them, while offering his condolences.