HC verbally bans travelling on train roofs

Homebound people, eager to celebrate the Eid-ul-Azha with the family, travel on the roof of a train risking their lives. This picture was taken from Airport Rail Station in Dhaka on Friday. Photo: Prothom Alo

The High Court on Thursday asked the railway authorities in Bangladesh to ensure that no one travels on train roofs.

A bench of justices Md Nazrul Islam Talukder and Khizir Hayat passed the order verbally.

"From today, no passenger will be allowed on train roofs. The officer concerned will be suspended if our order is violated," the court said.

The HC also asked the railway authorities to submit an action taken report by 31 July on its order and blackmarketing of train tickets. 31 July has been fixed as the next date of hearing in the matter.

Earlier on Wednesday, the court wanted to know the stance of Dhaka University (DU) student Mohiuddin Rony’s protest and about his six-point demand as he staged demonstrations at Kamalapur station from 7 July to 18 July in protest of the irregularities in Bangladesh Railway.

The High Court also wanted to know what steps the Anti-Corruption Commission had taken after the allegations made by Mohiuddin Rony.

Following the court's order, the railway authorities said that a probe body was formed to look into the allegations.

A letter of the probe body was also submitted to the court by deputy attorney general AKM Amin Uddin. Three officials of Bangladesh Railways were also present there.

The court also questioned the three staffers as to why there should be mismanagement in the railway sector? "Why should tickets be sold in the black market? Why are people forced to travel on the roof of a train?"

Rony staged a one-man protest against corruption in the country's rail administration for 13 days till Tuesday.

The Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection (DNCRP) on Wednesday fined Shohoz.com, an online ticketing platform of the country, Tk 200,000 after finding evidence of mismanagement in selling tickets of Bangladesh Railways.

As per the decision of DNCRP, Roni will get 25 per cent of this penalty (Tk 50,000).