Student's death paralyses Islamabad
Islamabad, Jan 22: Students protesting the death of a colleague in a
hit-and-run accident near Zero Point on Wednesday blocked the Islamabad Highway
for seven hours, throwing traffic in the city in a big mess.
piled up for miles on both sides as angry students staged a sit-in on the busy
highway during the early morning rush hour. Others threw stones, burnt tyres and
kicked, punched and attacked the stranded and passing cars, damaging scores of
them.Scared motorists veering away from the trouble spot clogged the link roads
Normal traffic could be restored only after the protesters started
dispersing around 3pm to attend the funeral of their colleague and police had
hunted down the runaway driver in Rawalpindi and booked him under PPC
Police said the trouble started at 8am after a madly driven Cultus
car knocked down Mohammad Zaheer, a student of the Government Commerce College,
H-8, Islamabad who was waiting to cross the road, and sped away.
passing army officer rushed the badly injured boy to the nearby Shifa
International Hospital but doctors could not save his life.
students poured out on the highway to protest when the tragic news reached the
college around 8:30am. They first put stones to block the highway and then sat
down on it.
Soon police arrived at the scene and tried to calm down the
students who were demanding the arrest of the hit-and-run driver and accusing
the police and the city administration of neglecting their duties to provide
safety on the roads.
Police officials assured them that they would put
their "genuine demands" for constructing a bus stop and a pedestrian bridge at
the site for the students attending the educational institutions in Sector H-8,
and deploying traffic police to check and punish reckless driving, particularly
during school hours.
However, the police's persuasive efforts failed and
sensing the fury of the students, it closed the highway from Zero Point to
Shakarparian Chowk, and later sections of the Kashmir Highway and the
Khayaban-i-Suhrawardy also as the protesters marched towards the H-8 traffic
Traffic arriving from Faizabad side and the Garden Road was also
turned away to avoid the marchers.
The protesters remained at Zero Point
till 1pm and then started marching towards H-8 traffic signal. On the way they
sat down at the spot where the incident had occurred, demanding that senior
officers come there to listen to their grievances. However, none appeared and
the students moved on after 30 minutes.
Zaheer's friends grieved him all
the time. "His educational brilliance and humble background had made him a
popular figure. It is heartbreaking to think he is dead," said
Zaheer was the son of a fireman and was a student of 2nd year in the
commerce college. Dawn
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