Passengers always have a bitter relation with the transport workers over the bus fare. One of the reasons for this is that the fare is not fixed or even if it is, it is not implemented. But the incident of killing a passenger by throwing him or her from a moving bus due to the fare dispute proves how the anarchy has gripped the sector. Transport workers think that they are above the law.
According to Prothom Alo, a passenger named Jasimuddin was going to Bahaddarhat from Agrabad in a city transport bus (Chittagong Metro-J-11-2031) on Friday night. When the driver's assistant demanded eight taka from him, Jasimuddin said that the fare was too high for such a short distance. He claimed five taka back from the helper as he gave 12 taka to him. The helper gave him back four taka instead. At one stage of altercation, the bus driver also joined the helper. They kicked the passenger and threw him out on the road. He received critical head injuries. He died a few hours later after he had been taken to hospital.
It is quite alarming that such an event could take place in a civilized country. There is no security for people, be it home or outside. The passenger got up on the bus at night to reach his destination. Did he ever think of losing his life? The couple who went out for a drive in the evening in Sylhet did not even know that some miscreants would jump on them. Did the schoolgirl who was going to see a physician with her brother in Savar think that she would have to be slain?
During the coronavirus pandemic, where people's sense of humanity is supposed to be awakened, they are supposed to step forward for helping each other, there are people being killed and tortured in the streets.
This is not the first time a passenger has been killed after being thrown out of a bus. Earlier, on 27 August 2018, a passenger named Rezaul Karim was killed after being thrown out of a bus in front of the Glaxo office near the city gate at the entrance of Chittagong metropolis. Three months before the incident, a young man named Saidul Rahman was killed by transport workers after he was thrown from a bus into a river in Gazaria area of Munshiganj. He was a BBA student at North South University. Unfortunately, none of these murders has been brought to justice. The accused were caught but escaped through loopholes in the law.
There has been an unabated chaos in the transport sector for many years. Passengers are held hostage by bus owners and workers. People are dying due to reckless driving. Now if transport workers kill passengers by throwing them off the bus, how will the ordinary people feel safe?
The authorities can arrange advance ticketing system for all buses to avoid disputes between passengers and transport workers over bus fares. If it is successful in buses of different companies including Dhaka Chaka, why it cannot be implemented for other buses?
The bus driver and his assistant have been arrested in the Chattogram incident. They also confessed to throwing off the passenger during the primary interrogation. A murder case has been filed against them. We hope, unlike in the past, justice will be ensured this time. The authorities must stop the culture of injustice in the transport sector and ensure the safety of the passengers.