The High Court yesterday directed the inspector general of police to take appropriate action against the unruly transport workers who are responsible for the death of three infants and creating chaos during the 48-hour road transport strike.
The IGP has been asked to take steps on the basis of footage and newspaper reports and submit a report to the court in 15 days, Deputy Attorney General Mokhlesur Rahman told The Daily Star.
In response to a writ petition, the HC also asked the police chief to explain in the report what action had been taken against the transport workers who were responsible for barring the three babies' guardians from taking them to hospitals and smearing used engine oil on people during the strike on October 28 to 29.
Moreover, the court issued a rule asking the respondents to explain in four weeks why they should not be directed to take steps to prevent repetition of such incident in the name of strike.
Secretaries to the ministries of home, road transport and bridges, IGP, Dhaka Metropolitan Police commissioner and its additional commissioner (traffic), and deputy commissioners and superintendents of police of Moulvibazar and Sunamganj have been made respondents.
The HC bench of Justice Sheikh Hassan Arif and Justice Razik-Al-Jalil came up with the order and rule following a writ petition filed by Supreme Court lawyer Syed Sayedul Haque Suman challenging the law enforcers' inaction against the unruly transport workers.
The petitioner appealed to the HC to pass a necessary order on the respondents to prevent such incidents in the name of strike.
Barrister Sayedul submitted the writ petition after reports were published in different newspapers, including The Daily Star, on the deaths.
According to a report published in The Daily Star yesterday, the tragic deaths of three infants during the 48-hour strike, enforced by the road transport workers, has caused an outcry with rights activists putting the blame partly on the state because of its failure to ensure citizens' safety.
On Monday, the second day of the work stoppage, a two-day-old baby boy, suffering from pneumonia, breathed his last on his father's lap while on their way to Sunamganj Sadar Hospital as the transport workers did not allow the vehicle to pass.
Two baby girls -- seven-day-old and eleven-month-old -- died on Sunday, the first day of the strike, as their families could not take them to hospitals due to the strike in Baralekha upazila of Moulvibazar, the report said.