Tens of thousands of students have been protesting against Bangladesh's transport sector, which is widely seen as corrupt, unregulated, and dangerous, after two teenagers were killed by a speeding bus
As the Bangladesh student protest enters its fifth day, the education ministry has shut several high schools across the country to quell unrest. Authorities have pleaded with students to call off the protests that have near-paralysed Dhaka and other surrounding areas.
Tens of thousands of students have been protesting against Bangladesh's transport sector, which is widely seen as corrupt, unregulated, and dangerous, after two teenagers were killed by a speeding bus.
The demonstrators, mostly students in their mid-teens, chanted "we want justice" on Thursday as they defied pouring rain to march in Dhaka for another day, bringing traffic to a standstill.
Though the ministry promised that their demands for reforms would be considered, anger has not subdued since a bus racing for passengers killed a boy and a girl on the roadside on Sunday, igniting the protests.
Protesters are blaming the government for failing to enforce traffic laws, and an insensitive comment by Shajahan Khan, a government minister with ties to powerful transport unions, triggered fresh outrage.
Khan questioned why there was such an uproar over the two Dhaka children but no reaction when 33 people were killed in an Indian bus crash the day before. There have been widespread social media demands for his resignation even though the minister later apologised.
Authorities say more than 300 vehicles have been vandalised since the protests started.
Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan yesterday promised that the government would launch a public transport safety campaign and urged the protesters to go home.
"People are suffering and we don't want this," he said.
According to the National Committee to Protect Shipping, Roads and Railways, a private research group, more than 4,200 pedestrians were killed in road accidents last year, a 25 percent increase from 2016.
With inputs from PTI
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Last Updated Aug 2, 2018, 3:52 PM IST