World looks at Dhaka student protests

Prothom Alo English Desk | Update:

World looks at Dhaka student protestsThe attention of media around the world has been caught by students, mainly teenagers, who have taken to the streets in Dhaka for the fifth consecutive day.

Bangladesh shut down high schools across the country on Thursday as tens of thousands of students protested for a fifth straight day after two teenagers were killed by a speeding bus, according to an AFP report, used by the Philippines’ popular portal Rappler .

It said Bangladesh's transport sector is widely seen as corrupt, unregulated, and dangerous, and as news of the teenagers' deaths spread rapidly on social media, they became a catalyst for a massive outpouring of anger.

The students blocked roads at different points in Dhaka demanding safe roads, despite closure of all educational institutions announced by the government, wrote BBC Bangla.

Different media highlighted the point that the students braved the rain to check the licences and other relevant documents of vehicles on Dhaka streets.

MailOnline, referring to an AFP report, said the demonstrators, mostly students in their mid-teens, chanted "we want justice". They defied pouring rain to march in Dhaka for another day, bringing traffic to a standstill.

“The students took to the streets to rein in the unruly traffic in a busy Dhaka. They forced the car of the minister coming from the wrong side to return. They stopped the vehicle of the police for it did not have valid documents,” wrote Anandabazar, a Bangla newspaper published from India’s West Bengal.

It also pointed out that the students reacted angrily to the fact that shipping minister Shajahan Khan smiled while replying to a query about the road crash that claimed lives of two students.

Rappler quoted a report of the National Committee to Protect Shipping, Roads and Railways, a private research group, that said more than 4,200 pedestrians were killed in road accidents last year, a 25 percent increase from 2016.

On Wednesday, Turkey’s Anadolu Agency reported that thousands of students blocked roads across capital Dhaka for the fourth day in a row, demanding authorities to arrest the driver of a vehicle which ran over two college students.

In another report titled ‘Bangladesh students blockade Dhaka roads after bus deaths’, The Straits Times, quoted AFP, mentioned that home minister Asaduzzaman Khan appealed to the students to end their protests to avoid a repeat of police baton charges against the blockades late on Tuesday.

Xinhua wrote, “Bangladesh students' protest over deaths of pals continues.”

Anandabazar said road transport and bridges minister Obaidul Quader urged the students to go back from the roads but “nobody paid heed to his words”.

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