The death of two students of Shaheed Ramizuddin College in a road accident on 29 July in 2018 caused a stir among the students across the nation. Students from most of the educational institutes took to the street to demand a safe road, as people from all walks of life joined them in the protests. The government convinced them to go of the road after making amendments in the Road Transport Act.
However, many of the students who were demonstrating were sued and still have those cases in their names. On Wednesday, a Prothom Alo report was published titled 'Intimidation and cases ruin lives of students'. Many of them had to be in the jail because they took part in the protests. They even had to appear before the court regularly before the pandemic began.
Those students did not violate any laws. Rather they staged peaceful demonstrations, and handed the vehicles that broke traffic rules over to the law enforcement. However, the cases claim that they obstructed the police, attempted arson attacks, vandalised government property and so on.
On the other hand, no cases were filed against ruling party men who had beaten the students mercilessly.
We cannot believe that students who had been demonstrating peacefully attacked the law enforcement. They even picked up innocent teenagers who were just there watching the protests. Some of them have been framed in as many as 15 cases. This is the reward you get for doing peaceful protests.
The cases and jail terms have hampered their studies. Even after two years the cases are still there and they are worried about the future. The commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police has said that the cases are still pending, meaning police are yet to file the investigation reports. How can they make the reports when nothing actually happened?
The police not only sided with the government, but also misused their power. The movement for safe roads was the most peaceful one in Bangladesh's history. The government should take steps against those who were against the implementation of the Road Transport Act.
We demand that all those cases against the students are withdrawn and they be set free to start their lives anew.