A newly married couple, along with five others, were killed as a battery-run three-wheeler collided head-on with a bus on Panchagarh-Banglabandha highway in Panchagarh’s Sadar upazila yesterday.
Niranjan Sarkar, station officer of Fire Service and Civil Defence unit in Panchagarh, said five of the victims died on the spot while two more succumbed to their injuries at a local hospital.
The accident happened around 1:15pm, he further said.
Panchagarh Deputy Commissioner Sabina Yasmin and Superintendent of Police Yusuf Ali visited the spot right after the accident happened.
On information, agitating locals blocked the highway for around three hours. They alleged that drivers of buses and trucks steer their vehicles recklessly in the area to avoid extortion by highway police, making such accidents quite frequent.
As the agitating locals started protesting, DC Sabina and SP Yusuf took shelter at Magurmari camp of Border Guard Bangladesh near the highway.
Contacted, Mohammad Jahangir Hossain, superintendent of highway police in the region, said he never heard of such allegation against cops previously and would take action against the law enforcers if anyone can prove the claim.
“The highway police set up check posts on the highway to prevent movement of unauthorised vehicles. Not to collect toll from drivers,” he said.
Talking to The Daily Star, SP Yusuf also echoed SP Jahangir’s statement. He said locals earlier had demanded to free movement of unauthorised vehicles.
Meanwhile, DC Sabina said the district administration formed a three-member probe committee, led by Additional District Magistrate Rehanul Haque, to look into the allegation raised by the locals.
The committee was directed to submit their report within three days, she added.
All the victims of the road accident hailed from Panchagarh district. They are Labu Islam, 27, his newly wed wife Mukti Begum, 19; Akbar Ali, 70, and his wife Nurima Begum, 57; the three-wheeler driver Rafiqul Islam, 40; Masud, 43, and Nargis, 42, said police.