When the students of Begum Badrunnessa Government Girls College tried to organise a procession on Sunday morning demanding trial of the alleged perpetrator and half-fare passes in public transport, policemen who had taken up position at the college entrance earlier, prevented them. Later they were forced to open the gates as students from other educational institutions came to join them. Hundreds of students blocked the Bakshibazar intersection and took upposition there around 10:00am.
The blockade was underway while filing of this report around 11:15am. Movement of transport from Chankharpul to Bakshibazar, and roads towards Bakshibazar, Dhaka education board and BUET remained suspended due to the blockade.
Students customarily pay half fare in public transport for long but many transport companies did not follow this custom. Now almost all public transport has not been following this since the coronavirus pandemic.
The students were chanting slogans “We want justice”, carrying placards declaring “Half fare is our right,” “Harsh reality of the country, you get rape threats for seeking rights”.
Speaking to Prothom Alo, Masum Billah, second year student of the history department at Dhaka College, who was taking part in the protest, said the driver's assistant of a Thikana Paribahan bus threatened to rape a student. Protesting this, the students of Begum Badrunnessa Government Girls College prepared to bring out a procession from the campus at 9:00am. But police took position at the college gate earlier. Later, several hundred students of Dhaka College, Sheikh Borhanuddin Postgraduate College, Government Titumir College, Tejgaon College and other educational students went to the Begum Badrunnessa Government Girls College. After scuffles and altercation with the police, the gates were opened. Then several hundred students took position at Bakshibazar intersection, he added.
Habiba Akhter, a student of Begum Badrunnessa Government Girls College, said they demand trial of the assistant who made the rape threat. At the same time, they demanded the government to fix half-fare passes for the students in public transport, she added.
The protesting students further said they will not leave the streets until a senior person of the government said something on the issue.