TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) - Bangladesh’s cabinet on Monday will consider capital punishment for traffic accident deaths, a law ministry official said, as tens of thousands of students protested for a ninth day over the deaths of two teenagers killed by a speeding bus in Dhaka.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who faces an election due by the end of the year, has accused her political rivals of trying to stir up anti-government sentiment using the deaths as a pretext. The opposition has denied involvement.
The crowded capital of 18 million has been paralyzed by angry school and college students demanding changes to transport laws following the July 29 deaths, after a privately-operated bus ran over a group of students.
“In this amendment it has been proposed to award the highest level of punishment if it is killing by an accident,” said the law ministry official, who has been briefed on the matter but declined to be identified ahead of a decision.
Handing down the death penalty for accidents is rare anywhere in the world, and Bangladesh transport officials listed measures ranging from 14 years in Britain in extreme cases to two years in India. bit.ly/2ObIBlC
Three years in jail is the current maximum in Bangladesh.
Defying government warnings to end the protests, students in school uniforms have blocked most of Dhaka’s roads, setting up checkpoints that let through only emergency vehicles.