Bangladeshi students block a road during a protest in Dhaka on March 20, 2019, following the death of a student in a road accident on March 19.
Bangladeshi students block a road during a protest in Dhaka on March 20, 2019, following the death of a student in a road accident on March 19.

DHAKA, BANGLADESH - Hundreds of students demonstrated in Dhaka Wednesday after a teenager was struck and killed by a speeding bus, just months after a similar accident sparked Bangladesh's biggest anti-government protests in decades.

Students chanting "We want justice!" blocked several major intersections in the bustling capital of 20 million, demanding the government take road safety seriously a day after a teenage pedestrian was mowed down.

"We request all students to return to their classrooms. Let us do our work," said Dhaka Metropolitan Police commissioner Asaduzzaman Mia.

An opposition BNP activist is being arrested by plainclothes policemen in Dhaka. In 2018, thousands of opposition leaders and activists were arrested in Bangladesh on allegedly trumped up cases of political violence.
Bangladesh Police Accused of Harassment With Fake Cases
Police in Bangladesh have filed criminal complaints against tens of thousands of people for violence-related cases in recent years. But the opposition and rights activists say most of the cases, allegedly involving bombing and rioting, were made up.Opposition parties claim most of those targeted were their leaders, workers and supporters, and that the government used the law enforcement agency to crack down on its political rivals.

The protests rekindled memories of major street demonstrations last August that lasted a week and erupted after two students were killed in a road accident.

Tens of thousands took to the streets as the marches grew into a broad challenge against Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who has been accused of waging a crackdown on dissent under a rule.

Police responded then by firing tear gas and rounding up scores of students and prominent government critics who joined the marches, with some beaten.

The heavy-handed response to a peaceful demonstration attracted international criticism.

Hasina, whose chief rival is behind bars, was elected in December for a third consecutive term in a poll marred by rigging allegations and the mass detention of opposition figures.

Bangladesh's transport sector is widely seen as corrupt, unregulated and dangerous. Thousands of buses and lorries ply the roads without certificates of roadworthiness.

About 12,000 people die each year in accidents on Bangladesh's notorious roads, according to a monitoring group.

 

Child Marriage