JU students seize 16 buses over complaint of molestation by helper

Jahangirnagar University students intercept 16 buses of Moumita Paribahan on 15 May, 2024Prothom Alo

The students of Jahangirnagar University have seized several buses of a transport service company, Moumita Paribahan, in protest against the alleged molestation of a female student of the university by one of the bus helpers.

The students intercepted 16 buses of Moumita Paribahan, which operates between Dhaka and Nabinagar, in the ‘dairy gate’ area of the university on Wednesday morning.

However, the bus owners have alleged incidents of snatching mobile phones and wallets with cash from the seized bus drivers and helpers by the students.

Earlier on Tuesday, a student of the 51st batch of the university was allegedly assaulted by a helper of a Moumita Paribahan bus in the Radio Colony area of Savar on her way back to the university from Savar.

She lodged a written complaint to the university proctor regarding this on Wednesday.

In the complaint, the victim wrote: “I was coming to the campus by a Moumita bus after getting tuition from Bank Town around 6:30 pm on Tuesday. When I paid the bus fare, the helper said that he had no change and would give it later. When the bus got close to Radio Colony, the helper said that the bus would not go further. All the passengers of the bus then got down and left. When I asked the helper to return the change, the helper said, let’s take you to Dhaka.

“At that time, there were only three people on the bus. The bus driver, a helper and another one with them. As the driver did not stop the bus, being scared, I jumped off the bus and got serious injuries in my knee.

“I was mentally disturbed after this incident. When I informed my batchmates, they brought me to the hospital.”

Sohel Rana, a friend of the victim, said: “A very bad incident happened with our friend yesterday (Tuesday). In protest, we stopped the bus of Moumita Paribahan. Later, we, along with the university proctor and the police of Ashulia police station went to the spot. But surprisingly, no CCTV footage of the period from 6.10 pm to 6.18 pm was found. We demand a fair trial of this incident.”

In this regard, assistant proctor Monir Uddin Shikder said, “We visited the spot along with the police of Ashulia police station and the students. But we could not find any incident by checking the CCTV. We are looking at the matter very seriously. On behalf of the university, security officer Sudipta Shaheen will file the case as the plaintiff.”

“The buses will remain here until the incident is resolved,” he added.

Regarding snatching mobile phones by the students, he admitted that some of the students did this in excitement, but these were later returned.

“Later, they returned those mobiles in my presence within an hour,” the assistant proctor said.

University proctor professor Alamgir Kabir said they informed the bus authority to identify the helper and driver of the bus and inform them immediately.

“Police are also trying to identify the culprits,” he added.