Bangladesh Road Transport Owners and Workers Oikya Parishad has called an indefinite strike in Sylhet division and Brahmanbaria from September 2.
Leaders of the organisation took the decision from a meeting at its office in Sylhet on Wednesday night, to press home their demands -- including transfer of a case against a driver and his helper to a bailable section and a stop to BRTC bus operations on the Sylhet-Sunamganj route.
On March 23, Sylhet Agriculture University student Wasim Afnan was killed as a bus ran him over on Dhaka-Sylhet Highway in Moulvibazar, after he was allegedly pushed off the bus.
The bus driver and his helper were later arrested on the charge of murderm and sued in a non-bailable case.
The transport leaders’ other demands include reduction of fine to Tk 50,000 from Tk 5 lakh in section-105 under proposed Road Transport Act 2018; making its section-84, 98 and 105 bailable; and reduction of fine to Tk 30,000 from Tk 3 lakh in section-84 and 98 under the act.
Besides, they demanded police investigation before filing road accident cases, inclusion of their representatives in the probe team and ending police harassment on highways.
Selim Ahmed Folik, joint convener of the Parishad, said, “We had submitted a memorandum to the divisional commissioner and the DIG of police in Sylhet regarding our demands, but to no avail. That’s why we called the strike.”
BRTC’s Sylhet Regional Manager Julfiquar Ali said, “We started the bus service on June 3 this year with eight buses on the route, but we had to reduce the number to four in the wake of pressure from transport owners and workers.”
M Kazi Emdadul Islam, deputy commissioner of Sylhet, said, “Their demand for stopping the BRTC bus service is illogical. The service will not stop under any circumstances.”