29 July 2018, Minister of Shipping Shahjahan Khan told journalists after bus kills two school students in Airport Road in Kurmitola, Dhaka that, “In India,... not much is discussed after a road accident.”
29th July 2018, following a road kill in Airport Road that saw a bus running over two school children, Minister of Shipping and President of Bangladesh Road Transport Workers Federation Shahjahan Khan said at a press conference,
“You might have noticed that in India, yesterday 33 people died in a road accident in Maharashtra. Now, do they talk in the way (regarding road accidents) we talk here?”
Minister of Shipping Shahjahan Khan’s comments:
The incident mentioned by the Minister occured as the skidded from a slippery hilly road into a ditch 500 feet below. The bus belonged to a Dr. Balasaheb Sawant Konkan Krishi Vidyapeeth, an agricultural university in Dapoli, Maharashtra.
On the other hand, the incident in Dhaka was due to a racing competition by two buses from the same company on the plain city roads beside the school, colleges of Dhaka cantonment.
FactWatch based on the Minister’s comment analysed 4 road accidents that occured in India over the past few months.
Of the 4, one incident already been mentioned above is one of the highest discussed topic in India in recent times.
Many public representatives inspected the accident and all families of the deceased were given 4 lac rupees (4.9 lac Bangladesh taka) as compensation.
Therefore, the Indian public did not poke their finger at their government or authorities. Also, no ministers are related to the bus owner or did any government officials make any controversial remarks over the incident.
Video: Students protest in Gawa, Bihar following a road kill that killed a student
The second accident occurred in February in Vadodora,Gujrat. A 13 year old student from the “Ambe Group of Schools” died in a road accident while participating in a cycle marathon. After the student’s death, the parents of students in the area came down to protest.
Two different associations: All Gujrat Valley Mandal (AGVM) and Vadodara Parents Association (VPA) held conferences at the school gate.
They demanded the arrests of the school trustees, change of locations of schools beside big roads and 15 lac rupees (15.9 BDT) as compensation to the family of the deceased.
The third incident occurred in June in Bhubaneshwar where three people including two students lost their lives as their motorcycle hit an excavator.
Folowing the incident, the locals stopped traffic and led protests. At one point, the excavator, four trucks and temporary construction camps were torched down by angry villagers.
Road accidents are discussed almost always in Indian media
In October 27 of last year, three people were killed by a bus in Vijaywada, Andhra Pradesh. The bus was damaged and torched by the relatives of the affected despite the incident occured due to a brake fail. Later police extinguished the fire.
Powerful and popular figures in India are not spared after commiting road accidents. Bollywood’s Salman Khan was sentenced to 5 years in prison for running his Toyota Land Cruiser over 4 homeless people sleeping on the foothpaths in Bandra, Mumbai in 28th September 2002.
Based on the 4 incidents, FactWatch have come to the conclusion that the incidents of Dhaka and Maharashtra can’t be compared in any way.
On the other hand, there were plenty of protests, discussions following Gujrat and Bhubaneswar.
Hence, the Minister of Shipping’s comment on Indian public reaction towards road accidents is false.