Reckless driving kills Buet fresher

May 28, 2010

Driver escapes; angry students torch buses; barricades road for 4 hours
A Buet student was killed by a callously driven bus at Azimpur of the capital, triggering violent student protests that halted traffic on city streets for hours yesterday. The victim’s head was crushed under a wheel of the bus.
During the angry outburst against mindless driving, the students torched four buses, vandalised at least thirty other vehicles, and barricaded two major roads adjacent to Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet) campus.
With iron rods, and cricket stumps and bats, the demonstrating students were marching in double time from one intersection to another.
The driver and other staff of the killer Winner Service bus, that operates on Azimpur-Uttara route, escaped instantly after the accident at 8:15am, abandoning the vehicle.
The victim, Khandaker Khanjahan Samrat, 19, a fresher of the mechanical engineering department at Buet, started attending classes at the institution just five days ago, and had been in Dhaka City for only nine days, hailing from Nizra village of Gopalganj district headquarters.
Witnesses said the bus was waiting on a queue at the bus stop in front of Eden Girls’ College at Azimpur intersection, with Samrat standing right behind it on the street, on way to his elder sister’s residence at Mirpur-10.
There was another bus in front of it blocking its way, and the driver of the bus behind wanted to pull out of the stop; he moved the bus in reverse without checking if anyone was behind the vehicle, knocking Samrat down on the street.
People around screamed, but the driver did not stop reversing, and then without stopping, and ignoring the screams, he swerved the bus forward to the right pulling out of the stop, crushing Samrat’s head on the way out.
An Eden College employee Suresh took Samrat to Dhaka Medical College Hospital where on duty doctors declared him dead around 8:40am, hospital sources said.
As the news reached the Buet campus, hundreds of students poured out on to the street around 11:00am, and put up barricades at Azimpur, Palashi, Nilkhet, and Lalbagh intersections. They vandalised buses and human haulers on the roads.
A group of students rushed to the spot of the accident, and shattered the killer bus’s windshields and window panes. Then they pushed the bus inside the adjacent Azimpur Government Staff Colony compound.
Around 12:30pm the protesters pushed the bus out of the compound again, and took it to Palashi intersection where they torched it. Within 15 to 20 minutes they set three other buses on fire.
Soon two units of Palashi Fire Station arrived at the scene and doused the fire.
Witnesses said, angry students even raged at journalists covering the scene. They physically assaulted Masum Khan, the DU correspondent of Radio Today.
Although the students returned to their dorms around 1:30pm, normalcy returned on the roads around 3:00pm, said Officer-in-charge of Shahbagh Police Rezaul Karim.
Samrat’s family, classmates, and the Buet administration staff including Vice-chancellor Prof AMM Shafiullah rushed to Dhaka Medical College Hospital to see him.
“His brain was oozing out of the skull. It is hard to recognise him as the left part of his face and head was crushed,” said Doctor Protul Kumar Sarker of DMCH.
Samrat got his secondary, and higher secondary certificates from St Joseph’s School, Khulna, and Khulna City College respectively with golden grade point average, said his family. On Monday he got his dorm seat at Ahsanullah Hall of Buet.
His body was sent to his village after a namaz-e-janaza at Buet central mosque at 1:30pm.
The Buet authorities declared a day of mourning at the university for tomorrow. Teachers, students, and other staff will wear black ribbons on the day, and form a human chain at 1:30pm on the campus protesting the death, said an official of the institute’s public relations department.
Lalbagh Police seized the bus that killed Samrat, and filed a case in connection with the fatal road accident.

Courtesy of The Daily Star

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