A group of students once again demonstrated in the Rampura Bridge area on Friday to press for their demands. They marched to the Rampura intersection at around 11 am and stayed there for about 40 minutes. It was then they announced their upcoming protest to show "red cards".
The protesters will gather at Rampura Bridge at 12 pm on Saturday and show "red cards" to those who defy traffic rules or engage in corruption on the roads.
“We’ll continue to protest until our demands are fulfilled. It’s mismanagement and corruption in the road management system that is causing road accidents. We’ll show red cards against corruption,” said Shohagi Samia, a protest leader.
The campaign has been designed in a way that it does not cause any inconvenience to the HSC examinees, she added.
As traffic was light on Friday, the demonstrations did not cause much disruption to the movement of vehicles.
As the students marched back to Merul Badda following a rally at Rampura Bridge, they requested a policeman on duty to stop a Raida Paribahan bus and check its papers.
But Emon Hossain Nayeem, a student of a local college, later alleged that he was physically assaulted by the police.
“A policeman pushed me and tried to strangle me, saying, ‘I’ll take you into remand'. Later, he stepped away when my classmates protested,” Nayeem said.
Ramzan Ali, a sub-inspector of Badda Police Station, denied the allegation. “The student's complaint is false,” he said.
Earlier on Thursday, the students had staged protests despite the efforts of law enforcement to prevent it. Police, however, said they had information that "outsiders may infiltrate the ranks of students and create disorder".
“If any outsider infiltrates the movement and tries to take political advantage, it’s the police who should give us protection. They have no right to stop us from demanding something logical,” Shohagi said.
Students have been demonstrating on the streets to press home a number of demands, including a concession on public transport fares for them after the rate was hiked. They have been blocking roads in parts of Dhaka over the past few weeks in protest.
The protests intensified in the wake of the deaths of two students in road accidents.
Bus owners in Dhaka conditionally agreed to reduce the fares by half for students but protesters rejected it and pledged to continue with their movement.
Their demands include a discounted fare for students across the country, not just in Dhaka, and for all hours.