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Bangladesh court jails 3 over 2018 road crash

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2 students died, sparking mass protests.

A Bangladeshi court on Sunday sentenced three transport workers to life for a road crash last year that killed two students and triggered major anti-government protests.

Hundreds of thousands of students across the country took to the streets after the two teenagers were hit by an out-of-control bus that had been illegally racing through the streets of Dhaka in July 2018.

The three workers, including two drivers, were found guilty of culpable homicide, prosecutor Tapash Kumar Paul told reporters. “We are happy with the verdict,” he said.

The rallies, which began over anger at road safety but soon morphed into opposition to the government, lasted more than a week and paralysed Dhaka's traffic.

As the demonstrations spread across the country, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina launched a heavy crackdown and over 150 people were injured after police fired tear gas and rubber bullets.

Pro-government groups allied with the government also attacked demonstrators, as well as journalists.

Traffic accidents have spiked in Bangladesh with at least 7,500 people – over 20 a day – dying on the road in 2018, according to the Passengers Welfare Association, a private watchdog.

Following the protests, the government passed a tough traffic law in the country of 168 million, drawing a backlash from the strong and well-organised transport workers' unions.

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Printable version | Dec 15, 2019 8:52:50 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/bangladesh-court-jails-3-over-2018-road-crash/article30131675.ece

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