Movement of shuttle trains between the port city and Chittagong University (CU) has been suspended since Sunday morning due to a sudden strike called by the staff of Bangladesh Railway (BR), demanding security.
As a result, no scheduled trains left for the university from the city’s Bouttali Station in the New Market area, leaving hundreds of students stranded at several stations.
The strike began on Sunday morning, two days after the students of the university allegedly beat up two loco masters of the shuttle trains following some students falling off the university-bound train’s roof on Thursday night.
Md Anisur Rahman, divisional transport officer of the BR (East Zone), said that train movement was halted due to security issues of the staff as two loco masters were physically harassed by the students on Thursday night.
“Next decisions will be taken upon holding a meeting with the university administration in this regard,” he said, adding that train movement will resume once the CU authorities can ensure security of the staff.
CU student Ashfaqur Rahman said none of them knew about the suspension of the train movement and after coming to the Bouttali Station they were stranded.
University authorities provided five buses for carrying students on Sunday morning. Of them three buses are plying from Bouttali Station and the rest from Sholoshar Station.
CU Proctor Dr Nurul Azim Sikdar said they are holding meetings with high officials of the BR and leaders of running staff’s association to resolve the issue.
Earlier on Thursday night, 20 students were injured after being hit by a branch of a tree when they were returning to campus from Chattogram city, riding on the train’s roof due to overcrowding.
Sixteen of the injured students were admitted to Chittagong Medical College Hospital (CMCH).
As per regular schedule, the university-bound shuttle train carrying over 2,000 students left the city’s New Market StationAt 8:30 pm on Thursday.
Risking lives, some students were seen riding on the train’s roof due to lack of seats.
As the train arrived in Fatehabad area under Hathazari upazila, some students fell off the train after being hit by a branch of a tree which was hanging low due to rains.
Enraged by the incident, the CU students vandalised the campus police outpost, shops, and set tyres on fire in front of the Zero Point at the university.
At one stage, they also moved to the bungalow of the university’s VC, went on rampage there and torched buses, creating panic on the campus.
On Friday, Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Shireen Akthter held a press conference on the campus alleging that some miscreants carried out the vandalism and torched the buses.
On Saturday night, two separate cases were filed accusing over 500 people in connection with the vandalism at the bungalow of CU VC and buses of the transport department after 20 students sustained injuries when they fell off a university-bound train’s roof on Thursday night.