Agitating students in the capital, who have been protesting over the past few days demanding safe roads, have announced tougher movement after the police dispersed them while they were trying to form the pre-announced peaceful human chain on the Rampura Bridge in the capital on Thursday.
"We shall not retract the movement in fear of police attack and cases filed against us. We will be on the Rampura Bridge at 10am tomorrow [Friday]. Let's see what the police can do," said Shohagi Samia, a coordinator of the movement.
"We tried to form the pre-announced human chain on the bride at 12pm but the police came suddenly and dispersed us. After everyone left, my friend Shenjuti and I objected to the forced dispersal by the law enforcers. Then the police tried to detain us but they refrained from doing it as journalists were present there," she added.
Though the police did not detain any student they have collected their name, photo, mobile number, guardian's number and address, she added.
However, Mohammad Nurul Amin, additional deputy commissioner (Khilgaon zone), said, the police allowed students for peaceful protests on streets till Wednesday but some infiltrators joined them to create chaos in the city on Thursday. Also, the HSC and its equivalent exams have begun, so the police can no longer allow them to be on the streets.
While talking about their next actions, Shohagi said they would stand peacefully on the pavement on HSC examination days so that there is no obstruction of movement for people. Programmes will be held on the streets on exam days.
Regarding the suffering of the people, she said, "There are traffic jams and road accidents even when we do not protest. In the past, leaders of the ruling party body staged a procession in Dhaka in the name of welcoming a leader during the SSC exams, which caused severe traffic jams. As a result, many students could not reach the examination centre in time and take the exam."
"Roads are also closed for VIPs. No one talks about it. If you want to get something big, you have to bear some sort of suffering associated with it. The people will get long term benefits from miseries for 10-15 days," she said angrily.
Another activist Shenjuti alleged that the police had threatened them and brought allegations of sabotage. Besides, on Wednesday when students seized a police car for not having a licence and demanded filing a case, the police physically assaulted some protesters.
"We make an emergency lane during the movement but the state has never felt the need for this. As a result, many patients die in traffic jams. In Bangladesh, nobody cares anything unless a political leader or a VIP is affected even though none of them uses the public bus. Very few of their children study in the country. How would they perceive the suffering of ordinary students?" she added.
As long as the 11-point demand is not met, students will continue the movement, she said further.
The students observed two minutes of silence in memory of the two students killed in the accident.