Security concerns led to the Friday morning suspension of services
On Friday morning, transportation owners suspended bus services across the country—citing security reasons.
In Jessore, all transportation services have been halted amid security concerns relating to an ongoing student protest. Thestudent’s movement is demanding justice for the two college students who were killed in a road accident in Dhaka.
Confirming the matter, Bangladesh Transportation Workers’ Association President Mamun-ur-Rashid Bachchu said: “The owners are very concerned regarding the lack of security on the roads, as vehicles are being vandalized and damaged.
“Under these circumstances, the transport services for 18 routes have been halted until further notice.”
Responding to a query, he added: “We have instructed our drivers to carry all legal documents including fitness certificates and licenses with them.”
In Rajshahi, bus services for all routes in and out of the district have been suspended. Rajshahi District Bus Owners' Association President Nazim Ahmed confirmed the matter to the correspondent.
No buses left the terminals on Friday morning, causing immense suffering to passengers.
A member of Rajshahi Road Transport Group, Nuruzzaman Mohon said: “Police have remanded bus owners, drivers, and helpers in Dhaka. Amid concerns of damages to our buses because of the ongoing students’ movement, we have shut down the transport services.”
Rajshahi Senior Assistant Commissioner Iftekhar Alam said: “Bus services are suspended by the decision of the central authority. However, BRTC and train services continue as normal.”
In Rangpur, transport owners and workers have shut down all inter-district and long-distance bus services without warning.
Responding to query, Rangpur Additional Superintendent of Police Saifur Rahman said: “Bus services for all routes have been suspended. We are investigating the circumstances behind this move.”
In Bogra, transportation owners have recalled buses plying the Dhaka and Chittagong routes citing security concerns arising from the students’ movement.
Bogra Transport Owners Association Joint Convener Shah Akhtaruzzaman confirmed the matter saying: “The Bangladesh Road Transport Workers’ Federation is holding a dialogue with the administration in Dhaka.
“The services will resume when our safety is ensured.”
Meanwhile, transport owners and workers alleged that students in Dhaka are vandalizing vehicles and attacking transport staff in the name of checking driving license and other legal documents.
No long distance buses have left the terminal till the filing of this report.
In Mymensingh, the Bus Owners Association has suspended services to all routes.
Confirming the matter, District Transportation Owners’ Association Secretary Bikash Sarkar said: “No Dhaka-bound buses have left the terminal since Friday morning.
“The students are vandalizing buses with impunity on the roads, causing millions of Taka’s-worth of damage to the owners.”
He added that the transport services might resume if the situation improves.
In Khulna, an indefinite transport strike began around 10am on Friday, suspending all long-distance bus services in the district.
Khulna Bus-Minibus-Coach Owners’ Association Joint Secretary Anwar Hossain told the correspondent: “Expressing solidarity with the central’s decision to suspend transport services, we also made the same decision. Transportation services on all routes have been halted.”
There are reports that similar suspension of transportation services is being implemented by transport owners and workers in some other districts as well, such as Meherpur, Habiganj, Sunamganj and Noakhali.
In Madaripur, all kinds of bus service were suspended and none of the buses left the old bus depot. Transport workers also blocked the streets and protested against the students' demands.
In Jamalpur, all buses in Dhaka-Jamalpur-Mymensingh and Jamalpur-Tangail routes have remained closed as of Thursday. Due to this the pressure of passengers in trains have doubled.
In Kurigram, all kinds of bus, minibus service were stopped without any notice. A person seeking anonymity said: "A labour leader ordered to suspend all kinds of bus services from Kurigram."
On July 29, Diya Khanam Mim and Abdul Karim Rajib, students of the college section of Shaheed Ramiz Uddin School and College, were killed when a Jabal-e-Noor Paribahan bus ploughed through students in front of Kurmitola General Hospital on Airport Road.
Students are engaged in a movement demanding justice for the road accident victims.