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20 January, 2018 01:04:23 AM
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CU shuttle trains now ‘havens for drug peddlers, sex workers’

HABIBULLA MASUM, CU
CU shuttle trains now ‘havens for drug peddlers, sex workers’

As darkness descends, Chittagong University (CU) shuttle trains become a safe haven for sex workers and drug peddlers. These trains carry some 16,000 students and make seven trips during daytime from the university campus to Bat Tali railway station of the port city. The entrances of these trains remain mostly open due to the callousness of the authorities concerned and the trains become the hangout for sex workers and drug peddlers after sundown.

“Drug addicts and many men and women are seen entering and leaving the shuttles after sundown,” said Faruq Mia, a street vendor at Bat Tali railway station. “Homeless people and beggars use the shuttle trains as public toilets. We’re forced to travel in an appalling condition,” said Daud Hasan Bhuiyan, a master’s student of the public administration department.During a visit to these shuttles at night, this correspondent found that the entrances of the trains were open and some people taking drugs. When students get on the trains to come to the campus in the morning, they find some people sleeping in the shuttle compartment. Street children and homeless people use them as sleeping shelters. They also use it as public toilets. It has been alleged that when the shuttle leaves Bat Tali station, some miscreants throw stones at the shuttle and several students have been injured.

“The train coaches are not properly cleaned. The seats are dirty. The authorities concerned must look into the matter and take appropriate steps immediately,” said Turag, a student of the political science department.

Some students have alleged that the CU shuttles become local trains at night and afternoon. Many people use them to come back from the port city as they do not have to pay any fare.  “Students can’t get seats and most of the time we keep standing,” said another student.

Sadia Jahan, a student of the English department and a resident of Khaleda Zia Hall, said: “I go for tuition in the city and have to take the train to come back at night. Most of the time, I get the foul smell of drugs in the compartments.”

Md Bajol Haque, CU chief security officer, said: “We're aware of the situation. We’ve stepped up vigilance and are conducting routine drives against drug peddlers and addicts.”

Requesting anonymity, an official at the Chittagong GRP station, told this correspondent: “The Railway security department and GRP are jointly in charge of the shuttles at night. We try to haul up those involved in illegal activities. But anti-social activities continue because of patronage by some influential people.”

When contacted, CU vice-chancellor Prof. Iftekhar Uddin Chowdhury said: “I have come to know about the filthy shuttles. I have directed the chief security officer to appoint two security guards. We’ll talk to the railway security department and the GRP for further measures.”

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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