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Dhaka Tribune

Mirza Shahjahan running again, this time demanding safe roads

Shahjahan hopes that his protest will make a difference in making roads safer for everyone

Update : 18 May 2018, 11:40 PM

Demanding safe roads for the public, Mirza Shahjahan has started to run again, a few months after he took a stand for Rupa, a college student who was gang-raped and murdered inside a moving bus in Tangail on August 25, 2017. His unique approach to demanding justice for her garnered much attention.

This time, he is demanding safe roads for the public. Shahjahan, now 65 years old, started running on May 1 on the Dhaka-Tangail highway. He ran six kilometres on the first day, starting from Rabna Bypass, going all the way to Nagar Jalpai intersection. He said he will keep running till the day of the upcoming Eid-ul-Fitr.

He hopes that his protest will make a difference in making roads safer for everyone. He hopes to increase awareness among the public, the drivers as well the authorities to prevent accidents and murders on the roads of Bangladesh.

Shahjahan will be covering several areas of Tangail aside from the highway every day till Eid-ul-Fitr.

The elderly man is sometimes running, sometimes riding a bicycle. He said if he is unable to run, he will ride a bicycle. If his health does not enable him to do even that, he will continue going around the areas on a wheelchair.

The locals of Tangail district expressed awe at his determination. It is unique for a man of his age to undertake such measures of protest. The locals sympathize with his cause.

Shahjahan told the Dhaka Tribune: “When we travel by bus, the transport workers should treat us like guests. I want to move forward with my protest with the support of the transport workers.

“My main demand is that the roads of Bangladesh be made safe. Recently, a driver was murdered inside a bus. If the roads were safe, this would not have happened. On November 20, 2001, a road accident took place in the midst of Ramadan. In remembrance of that event, I will be running till Eid-ul-Fitr.

“If I am unable to run, then I will go around with a bicycle. If I am unable to do even that, I will continue using a wheelchair.”

Shahjahan also said he hopes to keep running and protesting various matters till the end of his days.

He is also planning on delivering a speech to passengers in buses to raise awareness on matters of safety.

Mirza Shahjahan is the son of late Mirza Hanif Uddin. He is currently living in the Thanapara area of Tangail.

He was affected deeply by the incident in which a college student named Jakia Sultana Rupa was gang-raped and murdered inside a moving bus in Tangail on August 25, 2017.

Shocked by this inhuman act, Shahjahan decided make a stand for Rupa, by running around the court premises in a bid to garner public support for the trial of the culprits who committed this heinous crime.

He started running ten kilometres from September 6, beginning his journey from the District and Sessions Judge Court of Tangail on Wednesdays of every week. He is still running around the court premises twice a month demanding the execution of the criminals.

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