In a major stand-off between the government and infuriated protesters, at least 115 people sustained injuries in clashes with riot police in Dhaka on Saturday, witnesses and medical sources said, adding that protests particularly took a violent turn in Jigatala neighborhood.
“We have treated more than 115 injured students so far since the afternoon,” emergency ward doctor Abdus Shabbir said, adding that a number of sported injuries consistent with rubber bullets. “A few of them were in very bad condition,” he further said.
For the last week, tens of thousands of uniformed students have brought parts of the capital to a standstill with protests against poor road safety after two teenagers were killed by a speeding bus, Presstv reported.
The fury was provoked on Sunday, when a privately-run bus hit a pair of teenage students. Bangladesh's transport sector is purportedly seen as corrupt, unregulated and unsafe, and as news of the students’ deaths spread swiftly on social media they became a catalyst for an outpouring of rage against the government.
“We all are feeling threatened here. We wanted a peaceful protest. We don't want any trouble occurring around here. Yet rubber bullets were shot at our brothers,” a student said.
A number of influential ministers have already called on students to go back to their classes, amid concerns that the unprecedented teen outrage could turn into widespread anti-government demonstrations ahead of general elections due to be held later this year.
The American and Australian embassies have warned of significant delays and disruptions as a consequence of the rallies across the capital and elsewhere in the country.