Sunday, December 13, 2009

Smugglers-BDR Affair on Barendra Express

Monday, December 7, 2009

Passengers halted an intercity train for three hours at Panchbibi station in Joypurhat yesterday protesting carrying of smuggled goods in trains and alleged harassment by border troops in the name of raids.

Hundreds of passengers got down from Barendra Express that runs between Nilphamari and Rajshahi when it arrived at Panchbibi station at around 10:00am and staged demonstration for three hours until 1:00pm.

They sat on the rail track just in front of the locomotive of the express train and held a rally, said sources in the headquarters of Bangladesh Railway's west zone in Rajshahi.

The agitators said the smugglers were carrying Indian fertiliser at different compartments of Barendra Express since it started from Nilphamari. Half an hour before the train reached Panchbibi, some members of Bangladesh Rifles challenged the smugglers, they said.

At this stage, the smugglers spread the fertiliser inside the compartments by cutting sacks and threw the sacks bearing Indian seals out through the windows, they added.

Repulsed by an unpleasant smell coming out from the fertiliser, the passengers got down from the train.

The agitating passengers alleged the smugglers carry Indian goods, including cloths, phensidyl, spices and fertilisers in trains on the rail route.

They stop the trains at their will at different places to load and unload the smuggled goods, alleged the agitators. Moreover, the border guards harass the passengers in the name of raiding the trains, they added.

The angry passengers withdrew the barricade after the railway authorities cleaned the compartments.


Road blocked as bus workers beat up Ruet student

Students of Rajshahi University of Engineering and Technology (Ruet) yesterday barricaded the Dhaka-Rajshahi highway as bus workers beat up a student the previous night.

The agitating students damaged a Dhaka bound coach of Modern Enterprise during the barricade from 9:30am to 1.30pm while the bus workers assaulted Quamrul Hasan, a passenger of the coach for supporting the students.

The students were demanding punishment to the persons responsible for beating up Abdur Razzak, a civil department student and fixing of reasonable bus for students on all routes from Rajshahi.

According to students and police, Razzak scuffled with the staff of a bus of Paradise Enterprise on Saturday night as the conductor demanded 'excess' fare while he was traveling to Rajshahi from Rangpur.

As sequel to the scuffle, the bus conductor refused to drop Razzak in front of Ruet main gate. They took him to Rajshahi bus terminal and beat him up there mercilessly, alleged the students.

They claimed the bus workers also snatched away Tk 5000 and an expensive mobile phone from Razzak.

The next morning, the Ruet students, mostly from civil department, barricaded the highway in front of the Ruet main gate to protest the assault.

During the sit-in on the highway they damaged window panes of a coach with sticks and hurled brickbats at other vehicles.

As Quamrul Hasan, a passenger of the coach shouted at the bus driver for ignoring the students' demonstration, workers took him to the terminal and beat him up there.

A huge number of police forces were deployed at the scene as tension mounted at noon when bus workers started gathering at Talaimari to protest 'misbehavior' of students.

The students withdrew the barricade at 1:30pm after Ruet administration and senior police officials assured them of justice following a meeting with the bus owners and workers on the campus, said Tariqul Islam, an assistant commissioner of Rajshahi Metropolitan Police.

The students, however, threatened to go for tougher movement if their demands were not met within 24 hours.

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