Students’ blockade on Dhaka ended for today with calls for fresh demonstration tomorrow.
Traffic was returning to normalcy after the students withdrew, around 4:00pm from Shahbagh, the central gathering, after staying there for most of the day since 11:30am.
As news reports were coming in, Dhaka-Chittagong highway had cleared and all other blockades on Science Lab, Kazi Nazrul Islam Avenue, Airport Road and Mirpur were gone.
The central protest accumulated at Shahbagh today where students of Dhaka Unviersity, Dhaka Medical College Hospital and general public joined in shouting “We Want Justice”.
This was their fourth straight day of agitation that paralysed Dhaka over demands of justice into the deaths of two college students who fell victim to reckless driving last Sunday.
Vowing to stay on the streets till their nine-point demand is met, the students also burned an effigy of Shipping Minister Shahjahan Khan at Shahbagh. Calls for his resignation echoed for most of the time during the protest at Shahbagh.
Also, Jahangirnagar University (JU) students stood in a human chain near their campus demanding safe roads and punishment of drivers responsible for the deaths.
Shahbagh intersection: Around 2000 students blocked Shahbagh intersection at 12:00 noon, according to our staff reporter. Earlier, most of the protesters marched there from Science Lab area.
They were joined by students of Dhaka University and Eden College as well.
Minister's effigy burnt
Student demonstrators at Shahbagh this noon set fire to an effigy of Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan. They demanded the minister's resignation and protested police attack on students.
Motijheel: Several hundred students of Notredem College and Motijheel Model College blocked Shapla Chattar intersection at 12:30pm disrupting traffic movement in the area.
Science Lab: Students of Dhaka City College, Ideal College, Dhaka College and others blockaded Science Lab intersection around 11:30am.
Kakrail: Hundreds of students of Willes Little Flower School also came down to the roads blocking Kakrail intersection around 12:00pm.
Mirpur: Protesters have blocked all vehicular movements from Mirpur 2 to Mirpur 10. They have also vandalised around 25 local buses in the area, reports our staff correspondent from the spot.
Earlier, in the morning protesters blocked Mirpur 10 intersection. Before blocking the major point around 500 students of various schools and colleges from the Mirpur area brought out a procession at Mirpur 10 and rallied around the main roads carrying banners and placards.
Kazi Nazrul Islam Avenue: Vehicle movement from Farmgate to Karwan Bazar also remained suspended for around 20 minutes as hundreds of students blocked Dhaka’s Kazi Nazrul Islam Avenue demanding safe road.
First, the protesting students took position on the busy VIP road near the police box in Farmgate around 10:00am.
Later, they went on marching towards Karwan Bazar chanting "We want justice".
Airport Road: Almost 1500 students blocked both sides of the Airport Road at 12:00 noon. Around two vehicles were also vandalised by the protesting students, reports our photojournalist stationed at the spot.
Meanwhile, students of Shaheed Ramiz Uddin Cantonment College around 11:00am tried to block Airport Road demanding safe road and justice for their two peers killed in Sunday's road crash.
But the law enforcers foiled their attempt and ushered them into the buses crossing the area. Police were pushed two to three students in a single bus so that they cannot reorganize the movement, reports our photographer from the spot.
Reports are trickling in of many other road blockades by the protesters since morning.
Over 200 students of Jahangirnagar University (JU) formed a human chain today demanding safe roads and punishment to culprit drivers responsible for the road accident at Airport Road.
Sumona Gupta, an assistant professor of English department also expressed solitary with the human chain.
The protesters want a safe road, student-friendly transport system and exemplary punishment of the bus drivers involved in the accident on the Airport Road on Wednesday.
They also demand resignation of the shipping minister, or at least an unconditional apology, for his remarks with a smiling face about the accident that left two students of Shaheed Ramiz Uddin Cantonment College dead and at least nine others wounded.
Yesterday, protesting the deaths of their fellows, students took to the streets at Farmgate, Science Laboratory intersection, Mirpur-1, Mirpur-10, Mirpur-13, Uttara, Motijheel, Rampura, Nabisco intersection, Sher-e-Bangla Nagar and Shyamoli in the morning amid huge presence of law enforcers.
Traffic system collapsed across the city due to the demonstrations, causing much trouble for office-goers and other commuters. Also, some transport operators did not run their vehicles, resulting in a shortage of transport.