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Return to classes, don’t damage vehicles

Asking the students staging protests on the streets to return to their educational institutions, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said they should not vandalise vehicles.

"Please don't do this. Get back to your respective educational institutions. Engage in your studies. Those who are responsible [for recent deaths on the roads] must face punishment, they have been found out," she said.

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Hasina was addressing a programme marking the inauguration of a mural of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on the premises of Bangladesh Shishu Academy and the laying of the foundation stone of Joyeeta Foundation tower in the capital's Dhanmondi.

The programme was organised at Osmani Memorial Auditorium. The PM joined the event virtually from the Gono Bhaban.

"A new wave of coronavirus is coming. If it hits [the country], the educational institutions will be closed. So, go back to your educational institutions and concentrate on your studies," the premier asked students.

Hasina said those who are responsible for vandalising and torching vehicles would also be identified and punished. "If anyone dies in such a vehicle [vandalised and torched], if anyone is burnt, tough punishment will be meted out. We need to keep this in mind."

About the recent road accidents, the premier said the law enforcement agencies are very much aware and alert and the culprits have been captured already with the help of video footage and modern technologies.

She urged all to remain cautious and careful on roads and strictly follow traffic rules. "There are specific places to cross roads. If people try to cross roads indiscriminately, then accidents will happen. A moving vehicle cannot stop abruptly. It has to happen slowly."

She came down heavily on those who always block roads, damage vehicles and set vehicles on fire after any accident instead of helping the victims to get treatment promptly.

The law enforcement agencies should take steps in this regard too. "So, I will request everyone, please don't take the law in your hands."

Hasina also asked the drivers to drive vehicles with utmost caution. "Ours is a densely populated country. Naturally, when you want to drive here, you have to undergo proper training."

Terming the death of a student very painful and regretful, the PM mentioned that she was unable to understand the mystery of two deaths involving two garbage trucks of Dhaka south and north city corporations.

She said educational institutions had been closed for a long time due to the pandemic. "And all those have been reopened. So, get back to your institutions," the PM asked the students.

Describing today's children as the soldiers of future Bangladesh, Hasina called upon them to grow up as worthy citizens of the modern world to advance the country further.

She said she learned about Bangladesh by visiting the country's every corner by buses, trains, rickshaws, boats and even on foot.

Talking about the development of women, the PM urged them to be self-dependent and achieve financial empowerment with their own initiatives and utilising their capacities as no one would come forward to reward the rights to the women folk.

Women and Children Affairs Minister Fazilatun Nessa Indira, Bangladesh Shishu Academy Chairman Lucky Enam and Secretary to the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs Md Sayedul Islam also spoke at the programme.