Bangladesh government claims violence reports in student protests is false news


Bangladesh has been experiencing large protests by students raising issues about road safety, with claims of violence inflicted by the authorities (Al-Jazeera). The government in Dhaka denied these, saying they had “no authenticity”.

The government has been criticized by Human Rights Watch and others for their handling of the protests. But the general-secretary of the main government party, the Awami League, says there is no clear evidence against them and that opportunist always try to make an anarchy situation in country by the name of protests.

Information Minister Hasanul Haque Inu has denied statements from the U.S. Embassy (Independent) and the United Nations over attacks on student protesters demanding safe roads.

“There was no suppression and oppression or attack on children. Sporadic clashes took place in two or three places in Dhaka and police tried to control the troubles,” said Inu in a news briefing at his office on August 7 (bdnews24.com).

According to the Next Web news site, the government sent a text message to citizens saying that rumors of murders and rapes of student protestors are false.

The deaths of two students after a bus hit them on the capital’s Airport Road preceded the upsurge in protests (Dhaka Tribune). Bangladesh’s Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina, called the parents of the victims, Diya Khanam Mim and Abdul Karim, who were students at Shaheed Ramiz Uddin Cantonment College.

Besides giving the families BdTaka 2 million ($23,813) each in compensation, Hasina assured them of justice for their loss and ensuring road safety measures to prevent recurrence of such tragedies.

The parents of Mim and Karim then urged the protesters to return home.

Later, admitting that the students’ demands are reasonable, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal said at a news briefing that the authorities have started meeting the demands following Hasina’s orders (Dhaka Tribune).

Road Transport Minister Obaidul Quader said continuing with the protests was unreasonable now as measures were already under way.

“They [critics] were spreading unfounded and misleading information through live broadcasting on Facebook,” said Nazmul Alam, an additional deputy commissioner at the police’s cyber security and crime department.

Police started two cases against 45 people under the ICT Act after the rumours of  deaths and rapes of protesters spread on the social media (bdnews24(.

One of the arrested people, Arman, describes himself as a “cyber analyst” and blamed others for the posts spreading the rumours. He, however, took some responsibility as the admin of the page named “Fight for Survivors Right – FSR” in a post before being arrested.

 

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