March 19, 2019 / 3:25 PM / in 4 months

Protests erupt in Bangladesh's capital after bus runs over student

DHAKA (Reuters) - Hundreds of Bangladeshi students blocked roads and set a bus ablaze in Dhaka on Tuesday in protest over the death of a student who was run over by a bus, police and witnesses said, putting the spotlight again on the city’s dangerous traffic.

Last August a series of massive student protests, sparked by the death of two teenagers mowed down by a speeding bus in the capital, led to street battles and the use of tear gas and rubber bullets by police.

The protest forced Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s government to approve raising the maximum prison time to five years from three for causing death by rash driving.

In Bangladesh most bus drivers do not get paid monthly salaries but earn commissions based on the number of passengers picked up, leading them to race each other for increased business.

Atiqul Islam, mayor of the Dhaka North City Corporation, told students on Tuesday he would take all possible steps to help curb accidents and ensure their safety.

Police have arrested the bus driver who was involved in Tuesday’s death and he would now face charges, said Abu Bakar Siddique, a senior police official.

Reporting by Serajul Quadir; Editing by Martin Howell and Frances Kerry

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