Road fatalities continue to take place across the country amid the cry for safe roads. Yet another student of Sylhet became the victim of a marauding bus on Saturday morning. Students of Sylhet Agriculture University besieged the Chouhatta point from 11am to 1pm yesterday as they demanded capital punishment for the driver and helpers of the killer bus that had run over Wasim Afnan, a fourth-year student of the varsity.
During the agitation, the students sat on the road and blocked the entire area. They claimed that Wasim’s death was a planned killing.
Awami League Sylhet district unit secretary Shofiqur Rahman Chowdhury and Sylhet Sadar upazila chairman Ashfaq Ahmed Chowdhury went to the students and told them that the court would ensure proper punishment for the accused persons. But the students refused to pay attention to their words.
Later, Sylhet Metropolitan Police deputy commissioner Ajbahar Sheikh and university proctor Prof. Mrintyunjay Kundu assured them that they would help the students get justice and requested them to call off the barricade programme. On getting their assurance, the students returned to the campus. But they said that they would continue their agitaion if their demands were not met soon.
While the students were agitating, they barricaded the car of former finance minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith. The former minister was in the car. But the students released his car after recognising him.
The police have already arrested the driver of the killer bus,
Juel Ahmed (26) and his helper, Masuk (26). The accident occurred on Saturday evening, around 7pm, in the Sherpur highway squire area. Wasim Afnan, along with onine others, was returning to the campus. He boarded a bus of ’Udar Paribahan’, which runs on the Mymensingh-Sylhet route, from Nabiganj Aaushkandi area after attending a marriage ceremony at his home.
One of Wasim’s friends on that bus told The Independent: “Wasim and his friends were involved in a brawl with the helper over the fare. After reaching the Sherpur highway squire of Moulvibazar district, they were getting off the bus. The accident when the helper kicked Wasim from behind. He fell from the running bus, which ran him over. Later, the student was sent to Osmani Medical College Hospital, but the doctor on-duty said he was already dead.”
Additional deputy commissioner of the Sylhet Metropolitan Police (media) said they could not do anyting with the matter as the case would depend on district police. But they will help the district police if they needed any help, he added.
Also yesterday, students from different educational institutions formed a human chain at 9am in front of the Jamuna Future Park at Basundhara to register protest at the death of fellow student Abrar Ahmed. The students were carrying placards and banners to press home their demand.
Abrar, a student of the Bangladesh University of Professionals (BUP), was killed after a bus ran him over at Nodda near the Bashundhara residential area on March 19.
Illias Kanchon, chairman of Nirapad Sarak Chai, went to the spot around 2:45pm and expressed solidarity with the students. He urged all to carry on a peaceful movement for safe roads. The students were also seen helping police in controlling traffic and checking driving licences as well as fitness papers of vehicles.
The death of Abrar sparked a heavy protest among the students elsewhere and locals and they took over the road.
In another development, A 65-year-old man was killed and 15 others were injured in a road accident on C&B Road in Ashulia yesterday morning. The deceased was identified as Abdul Mannan, 65, who hailed from Ramdaspur village in Bhola Sadar upazila.
A bus of ’Ananda Super Paribahan’ ran over Mannan iat Anarkoli Bus Stand in the area, leaving him dead on the spot. The bus later hit a roadside tree after its driver lost control over the steering, leaving 15 passengers of the bus injured.
Being informed of the matter, cops from Ashulia police station seized the bus, said sub-inspector Sazzad Hossain. Following the accident, locals brought out a protest procession and put a barricade on the road.
Meanwhile, five passengers of an auto-rickshaw suffered burn injuries after its gas cylinder exploded on the Dhaka-Aricha highway in Jolpur area of Savar in the morning. The injured were admitted to Savar Enam Medical Collage Hospital.