Members of civil society and rights organisations yesterday expressed solidarity with the ongoing student protest and demanded for bringing an end to the anarchy prevailing in the transport sector.
They called upon the government to immediately implement all the logical demands made by the students of schools and colleges.
“Human rights of people are trampled through road accidents which have to stop,” said chairman of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Kazi Reazul Hoque in a statement.
He said everyone has the right to safe movement but roads have turned into death traps due to authorities' negligence to duty and corruption of some officials in providing licence, fitness certificate, route permit, and registration of motorised vehicles. A section of dishonest bus owners are providing unfit vehicles to drivers, ignoring the law, Reazul said.
NHRC urged the government to stop corruption, misuse of power, and all kinds of irregularities in the transport sector.
Speaking at a human chain organised by road safety campaign Nirapad Sarak Chai in front of Jatiya Press Club, its founder Ilias Kanchan said the government, as per its promise, should implement the demands of agitating students without delay.
“If every [government] department starts working from Sunday then I would request you [students] to return home,” he said, adding, “If required, all of us will take to the streets again in future.”
He urged the students to remain calm while demonstrating on roads and also requested them not to vandalise vehicles.
Kanchan, however, said that the government is planning to place the proposed “Road Transport Act” at the next cabinet meeting without considering some key issues on road safety.
Meanwhile, eminent columnist Syed Abul Maksud yesterday said that accepting the demands of protesting students and implementation of those are not the same.
He came up with the remark while addressing a human chain in front of National Museum in the capital, organised by a number of social and rights organisations.
“A cabinet meeting will be held on Monday (August 6) and the act concerning road safety is supposed to be presented there. To what extent the government has accepted the [students'] demands will only be understood after seeing what law they make on it,” said Abul Maksud.
Sushashoner Jonno Nagorik (Sujon), a civil society platform, in a press statement said the protest of the young students is an unprecedented incident in not only Bangladesh but also the world.
It also said public support for the movement is a strong wake-up call for the government.
Sujon appreciated the decision of the government to not use force against the movement waged by school and college students, but condemned the attack on students by police and some alleged ruling party activists.
Juktofront leaders AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury, ASM Abdur Rob and Mahmudur Rahman Manna in a joint statement expressed solidarity with the students' nine-point demand, and called upon the government to stop attack on agitating students.
Bangladesher Samajtantrik Dal also demanded that logical demands of the students be accepted.