Demo for half bus fare: Students give 48-hour ultimatum

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Dhaka, Nov 23: Students of different colleges in the city on Tuesday afternoon threatened to resume demonstrations on Saturday morning if their two-point demand, including half fare for bus rides for them, is not met by 48 hours.

Students of Dhanmondi Ideal College blocked Science Laboratory intersection in the city around 12:30 pm, demanding half fare for students in public transport.

Later, students from Dhaka City College and other adjacent colleges expressed solidarity with them and joined the demonstrations, halting traffic on the busy road.

Adnan, a student of Dhanmondi Ideal College, said, “They gave a 48-hour ultimatum and threatened to resume their movement on Saturday if their demands – half fare for students  and safety of students, especially female ones – are not met by Friday.”

Mahmudul Hasan Rafi, a student of Dhaka City College, said, “Ideal College students were obstructed by police on Monday while inspecting whether students were allowed to pay half fare in buses. Besides, the students also face safety problem. The students of Dhaka College and City College expressed their solidarity with the students of Ideal College.”

Ikram Ali Mia, officer-in-charge of Dhanmondi Police Station, said, “Police are there to tackle any untoward incident though no unwanted incident has been reported yet.”

The students have been staging demonstrations since November 18 demanding half fares in public transport for students.

They also claimed that no one has paid any heed to their demand though the students have been harassed in public buses.

On November 20, students of two colleges vandalized 10-12 buses in Science Laboratory area demanding half fare in the city for students.

On November 18, hundreds of students of Dhaka College demonstrated outside their college to press home the same demand.

The government on November 3 raised the prices of diesel and kerosene by Tk 15 per liter and the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) increased the fares for intra-city and inter-district buses by 26.5% and 27% respectively following an indefinite strike by transport owners on November 7.