Tarana threatens death | Sports TV Link

Tarana threatens death | Sports TV Link

Ruling Awami League MP Tarana Halim says she will fast until death if 'unskilled' drivers get licences following a proposal by shipping minister and transport workers leader Shajahan Khan.

Speaking at a rally to condole the deaths of filmmaker Tareque Masud and ATN News CEO Ashfaque (Mishuk) Minier on Saturday, Tarana said, "We've come to know through newspapers that 10,000 unskilled drivers got licences without any test. We've also known that the shipping minister had proposed that 20,000 more licences be issued to unskilled drivers."

"If any of the 20,000 unskilled drivers get licence and the 10,000 licences issued earlier are not cancelled, I'll fast until death," Tarana, an MP from a seat reserved for women, added.

Tareque and Munier were killed along with three others in a traffic accident in Manikganj on Aug 13.

Tarana and several other MPs from Awami League and its allies had expressed their ire also in parliament on Thursday over the death of Tareque and Munier along with three others in a road crash in Manikganj on Aug 13.

Communications minister Syed Abul Hossain and Shajahan are being slammed after the accident. There is an allegation that licences are being issued to 'unskilled' drivers following pressure from the shipping minister.

Admitting that the Bangladesh Road Transport Workers Federation proposed to issue 24,630 drivers, Shahjahan, also president of the organisation, said a list had been made following rules with names of skilled drivers who had already been driving vehicles in several districts.

Tarana, whose nephew Saif Ahmed had been killed in a road accident in 2009, demanded that the licences issued to the 'unskilled' drivers be cancelled.

Saif Foundation and Families United Against Road Accident (FUARA) organised the condolence rally in front of ATN News office at Karwan Bazar.

Foundation chairman and Saif's mother Samia Halim and several others who lost their close relatives in traffic accidents attended the rally.

They demanded that the government take necessary steps to ensure road safety.

They suggested amending laws to include prohibition of harsher punishment for those responsible for road traffic accidents and expanding railway network.

Earlier, a signature campaign was held at Dhaka University's Teacher-Student Centre demanding steps to stop road accidents.

Vice-chancellor A A M S Arefin Siddique expressed his solidarity with the campaign.

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