Police will strictly maintain law and order to contain violence during students' protests for road safety, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal said on Sunday
The government will be taking a strict stand now that the student demonstration for road safety has turned violent as it has so far been lenient towards the student protests and have accepted their demands.
Law enforcement agencies will now strictly implement law and order because “a vested quarter is trying to take advantage of the situation,” Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal said on Sunday.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony of the Traffic Week at Zero Point in Dhaka, the minister said: “Law enforcement and security agencies will become strict in maintaining law and order because a group with vested interests is committing violence in the name of protests.”
The minister further said the demonstration had been turned into chaos to create unrest in the country.
“A third party has already mixed themselves among the demonstrators, carrying fake IDs and wearing uniforms; but they are not real students. They are trying to create a situation in the guise of demonstrations,” he added.
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“A group has been spreading fake news and rumours. Not only has an actress spread rumours, but we have also seen that a senior BNP leader had instructed his party activists to participate in the ongoing protests,” the minister further said.
Asked what the police would now do, Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) Commissioner Asaduzzaman Mia said: “We have taken all necessary steps to control the law and order situation. However, police will not behave badly with the real protesters.”
The students' protests for road safety, which have been taking place in Dhaka and across Bangladesh since July 29, was peaceful until it turned violent on Friday.
Scores have been injured in the violent clashes between the protesters and members of Bangladesh Chhatra League, student wing of the ruling Awami League, and police in the last two days.
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Meanwhile, the Chhatra League also expressed solidarity with the students' protests on Saturday.
Awami League leaders claim the party president's office was attacked by the vested quarter.
At a separate event in Banani on Sunday, Awami League General Secretary and Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader said: “If someone attacks the Awami League president's office, what should we do? Should we sit in silence? The law enforcement officials should control the violence.”
Obaidul further said students were returning home following Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's directive on Sunday, as their demands are being implemented.
During the inauguration of the optical fibre connectivity in 300 unions via video conference in Ganabhaban, the prime minister urged everyone not to pay heed to rumours and spread propaganda.
“A group with vested interests is trying to create an unstable situation in the country,” the premier said. “Now, if a student gets injured, who will take responsibility? So I request the students to return to their classrooms.”
Awami League leaders have alleged that the BNP-Jamaat is committing violence amid the student demonstration.
Police sources said the DMP has already collected a huge number of photos and other documents, by which they have identified the men throwing stones at police to be members of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal Islami Chhatra Shibir, student members of the BNP and Jamaat-e-Islami, respectively.