Tuesday, 14 August, 2018

Mass protests over traffic deaths paralyze Dhaka for 5 days

More than 100 students hurt during violent standoffs with police in Bangladesh, hospital says - but police deny anything happened Protesters paralyze parts of Bangladesh after a speeding bus kills two students
Troy Mann | 08 August, 2018, 13:48

Worldwide news agencies reported that the situation is "tense" in the country's capital and "police used tear gas" and "rubber bullets as they tried to control the crowds on Saturday".

Tens of thousands of angry school and colleges students have been demanding changes to Bangladesh's transport laws, paralysing the crowded capital of 18 million, after the two teenagers were killed when a privately operated bus ran over a group of students on July 29.

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina urged students to go home as police fired tear gas at teenage protesters during an eighth day of unprecedented demonstrations over road safety which have paralysed parts of Dhaka.

At least 50 protesters have also been injured in street attacks.

The protests sparked last week after two teenage students -a boy and a girl - were killed when two buses racing to pick passengers, a common occurrence in the city, hit them and wounded several others.

"Today the police specifically asked for help from armed goons to combat unarmed students demanding safe roads", said Alam.

Several journalists, including an Associated Press photographer, have been attacked.

The Awami League has denied allegations that its officials beat up students.

Student protesters shared a video shot from a balcony in Dhaka's Bashundhara, and gun shots can clearly be heard on the streets below. News from Dhaka indicates that journalists were beaten up and their cameras snatched, with videos of such incidents circulating on social media.

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"Although the government is saying that they have accepted all our demands, we want a written assurance from the Prime Minister.

The Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission said it would comment later Sunday.

A Bangladeshi student enact as a dead while others shout slogans a during a protest in Dhaka.

Telecommunications companies were ordered to suspend 3G and 4G services for a period of 24 hours on late Saturday, the English-language Dhaka Tribune reported, hours after dozens of demonstrators were injured during street battles with police on Saturday.

Teenagers as young as 13 were seen on Dhaka's notoriously clogged roads checking whether cars and buses had valid licences and were in a roadworthy condition.

Witnesses said police fired rubber bullets and tear gas at demonstrators and that alleged pro-government activists attacked youngsters, including some of those rushing to nearby hospitals for treatment.

"Yet again, Bangladesh authorities seem determined to take abusive shortcuts to problems, and then denounce those who criticize", Adams said.

The protests come just months before general elections scheduled for December and follow another series of protests in Dhaka this past spring.

He said the party office which was close to Jigatala was vandalised by some unidentified youths, dressed in school uniforms, moments before the clashes erupted.

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