Students of five schools were forced to stand by the road for about two hours to greet Dhaka District Council Chairman Mahbubur Rahman and the local parliamentarian Enamur Rahman.
The students were made to queue up at Jamgor on Wednesday from 2pm to 3:45pm allegedly as per the instruction of Savar Awami League Vice-President Shahid Bhuiyan during the opening of a road in Ashulia.
After the programme, the guests and ruling party activists went to a local mosque premises where a seminar was arranged. During this time, the locals were not allowed to enter the mosque to offer prayers on time.
Local Awami League activists said that the construction work of the 300-metre road, starting from Jamgor intersection to Bhadail road, was completed three months ago by Dhaka district council.
The seminar was held at the Jamgor Central Jame Masjid premises in this regard. Party activists started to gather on the mosque premises from Wednesday afternoon to attend the seminar.
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Locals are complaining that they could not enter the mosque during Asr prayers due to the seminar held at Jamgor Central Jame Masjid Nasim Hossain/Dhaka Tribune
Seventh grader Md Zakaria, sixth grader Maya Akhtar, and ninth grader Moni Akhtar from Alpha Model School said they were made to stand by the road for around two hours as per the instruction of their principal Ramzan Ali.
They said they were ordered to greet the guests with flowers.
Many students were fatigued from standing for so long and they were prevented to go home until the programme ended.
Other students from Shobuj Shena School and College said their legs were aching after standing for so long, and they wanted to go home.
Many other students from Shaheen School, Dhaka Ideal School, and Child Heaven Academy School reiterated the same complaint and said they too were standing there because their schools’ principals had instructed them to do so.
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Many students were fatigued and wanted to go home Nadim Hossain/Dhaka Tribune
They added that they were only told that Awami League leaders were going there and they had to greet them.
A teacher from Alpha Model School, Rozina Akhtar, confirmed the students’ claims and said that the students were made to queue up as per the instructions of school principals.
Meanwhile, several locals expressed their anger because they could not enter the mosque premises due to the seminar. They said that they had to offer Asr prayers at home because Asr timing clashed with the seminar.
They also pointed out that the seminar could be held by the organizer in the vacant space of any of the many school premises instead.
Savar Awami League Vice-President Shahid Bhuiyan confirmed that he was aware that the students were made to stand by the side of the road for over two hours.
He, however, claimed that he did not give the instruction to the school authorities and added that someone from his group might have done so without his knowledge.
Savar UNO Sheikh Rasel said: “It is completely prohibited to make students stand on the road for any party programme.
“We will investigate the incident and take necessary measures.”