ibusinesslines.com August 20, 2018

Dhaka clashes turn violent; mobile internet services snapped

08 August 2018, 01:52 | Jodi Jackson

Protesters paralyze parts of Bangladesh after a speeding bus kills two students

More than 100 students hurt during violent standoffs with police in Bangladesh, hospital says - but police deny anything happened

The protests, set off by the deaths of two students killed by speeding buses on July 29, grew last week to tens of thousands of people, becoming a major embarrassment to Hasina's government, which faces a general election later this year. If the bus driver's casualties are lost and the people raise their voices against it then the bus operator goes on strike.

The incident comes amid ongoing mass protests staged by students who demand more safety on the roads after two students were killed in traffic incidents.

Students runs back during clashes with unidentified miscreants while protesting over recent traffic accidents that killed a boy and a girl, in Dhaka, Bangladesh, August 4, 2018. Some other groups also took to the streets in other parts of Dhaka. Thousands of students from various schools and colleges came out on the streets, stopping vehicles to check for licenses and other permits, with the protest entering its eighth consecutive day on Sunday.

How did things turn violent?

Meanwhile, suspension of bus services across the country has put extra pressure on the railway as many are opting for the service in the absence of buses.

As per the witnesses, police fired rubber bullets and tear gas at the protestors and the supposed pro-government activists confronted the youngsters, which included some of those who were rushing towards the nearby hospitals for getting medical aid.

The BCL were also blamed for attacks on journalists - including the destruction of phones and cameras - which the Daily Star newspaper called a "reprehensible violation" of press freedom.

U.S. Ambassador to Bangladesh Marcia Bernicat's vehicle was "attacked" in Dhaka by a "group of armed adult men", the US Embassy has stated.

The U.S. embassy said it was not in a position to comment until the investigation was complete.

The protesters are demanding safer roads in Bangladesh, where corruption is rife, making it easy for unlicensed drivers and unregistered vehicles to ply the roads.

A photographer for an global news organisation was among those beaten.

The government has promised to consider road safety reforms to address the students' concerns and on Monday the cabinet approved a new Road Transport Act that has been in the pipeline for some time.

The decision might be an attempt to control and restrict the students from spreading or mobilising the growing outrage regarding how the government has tackled the protests.

The Awami League has denied allegations that its supporters had inflicted violence on the protesters.

A protester said students were holding protests peacefully on the road when they were attacked.

The United Nations said it was concerned for the safety of the young people caught up in the protests.

"Regardless of political or religious values, we wanted to show solidarity with those students in Bangladesh", Mr Rahman said. The details are still emerging, but reports indicate that several student protesters have been injured in the clashes.

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