Last weekend, after a speedboat hit and killed two students in Dhaka, Bangladesh, their peers began to pour into the streets to demand justice.
Since then, tens of thousands of students, many dressed in school uniforms, have closed the capital, blocked roads and prevented transit through much of the city. They call for improved road safety in Bangladesh, where around 12,000 people die in traffic accidents each year, according to the Associated Press.
As the protests increased in recent days, students stopped vehicles – including government officials – to ask them for their papers and licenses. Some buses were damaged and set on fire, including one that was set on fire after he had killed a motorcyclist on Friday, it said in local news.
This week, the Daily Star, Bangladesh's leading English-language newspaper, said bus services have been suspended across the country because the major roads in Dhaka are blocked and motorists fear the large crowd.
There were clashes on Saturday after police used tear gas and batons to drive protesters out. Agence-France press said students were battling with other young adults. The news agency also reported that more than 100 people were injured after the police shot rubber bullets into the crowd. "Some of them were in very bad shape," said a AFP doctor.
The government closed high schools on Thursday to end the protests.
The Daily Star reported that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina encouraged students to stop protesting and return to class. Interior Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal spoke this week on behalf of the government: "All student demands are logical and the process of implementing these demands is in progress."
Sharm Shajahan Khan questions the rage of the demonstrators that more than 30 people were killed in a recent accident in neighboring India, but are they talking about it like us? "He apologized for outrage over social media and many people called for his resignation, with Bangladeshi news anchors reporting that he later visited the families of one of the bus-killed students to apologize.
The protests take place just a few months before the parliamentary elections scheduled for December and follow another series of Protests in Dhaka At that time, students were boycotting to protest against the government's job quota system, which reduced the number of open roles for graduates, and encouraged the students to end their protests: "They have protested enough protests now she will return her home " she said in response.
Inside Minister Asaduzzaman Khan told Reuters this week that the government has promised the students will meet their demands. But he said he feared "the movement could become violent, as a conspiracy … overrides the government."
There are reports that both the ruling party and the opposition have mobilized supporters to infiltrate the protests