These buses have been covered in a fresh coat of paint, and rebranded as Samrat Transline Pvt Ltd
Suprovat Paribahan—the transportation company currently embroiled in controversy over the death of a student in a road accident caused by reckless driving—has rebranded itself in Gazipur.
These buses, covered in a fresh coat of paint—and rebranded as Samrat Transline Pvt Ltd— were seen plying the roads of Gazipur on Wednesday.
Speaking to the Dhaka Tribune, tea seller Ismail Hossain said: “No Suprovat Paribahan busses left the counter today. However, I have seen transport owners erasing bus names from vehicle bodies. I do not know why they are doing it.”
Meanwhile, Jahangir Alam, a student of Tongi Government College pointed out: “Following the road accident death of Bangladesh University of Professionals (BUP) student Abrar Ahmed Chowdhury in Dhaka, Suprovat Paribahan authorities have rebranded their buses.
“I believe it is a clever ploy by the transport company to save itself from vandalism by students on the road. The company is trying to deceive the students.”
On condition of anonymity, a number of bus drivers and their helpers revealed that despite only having a permit for operating on Sadarghat-Uttara route, the company operates in Gazipur too. The company gets away with this illicit act with the support of local transportation leaders.
Only 50-60 Suprovat buses have a permit for operation, but more than 250 buses are running back and forth between Dhaka and Gazipur every day, added transport workers.
Responding to a query, Gazipur Metropolitan Police Traffic Department (South) Assistant Commissioner Nazrul Islam said: “I have no information regarding the rebranding of Suprovat Paribahan. But I can confirm the company does not have a permit to operate in Gazipur.
“If evidence is found against the company, it will face legal action.”
The police official further said any company can rebrand itself, but every commercial entity needs a valid license issued under its current name.
On Tuesday, Abrar Ahmed Chowdhury—son of Arif Ahmed Chowdhury of the Basundhara area—was killed in a road accident in front of Dhaka's Jamuna Future Park.
He was an honours first year student of the International Relations Department at Bangladesh University of Professionals (BUP).
Abrar's death sparked a massive protest by students from different universities, who have been holding demonstrations by blocking the streets in different parts of Dhaka, demanding justice for Abrar and capital punishment for those responsible.
This is the second wave of student protests demanding road safety, after students took the streets all across the country in August last year, after the death of two students who were run over by a bus on Airport Road in Dhaka.