Attackers indeed from BCL


Bangladesh Chhatra League has apparently assumed the role of law-enforcement agencies on the Dhaka University campus, as two recent incidents suggest.

Usually, members of the proctorial team or police are entrusted with maintaining security on the campus, but the current authorities seem to be counting more on the activists of the pro-Awami League student body.

In case of the two latest incidents, the authorities did not call the police, and each time BCL men foiled students’ protests, harassed female students and beat up demonstrators at random, students alleged.

On Tuesday, for example, several hundred BCL men from in and outside DU campus attacked a group of students and leaders and workers of left-leaning student organisations to “rescue” DU Vice Chancellor Prof Akhtaruzzaman, who was kept confined in front of his office by the protestors. At least 50 students and two journalists were injured in the attack.

The students were demonstrating to press home their four-point demand, including punishment of the BCL men who harassed some female students a few days ago.

Earlier on January 15, BCL men foiled another demonstration on the campus, harassed female students and beat up the protest coordinator, before handing him over to the authorities.

On that day, the students were staging a sit-in before the VC’s office demanding cancellation of the affiliation of seven colleges with DU.

Sources in the proctor’s office said that the DU authorities called the BCL on both occasions.

Both the DU authorities and the BCL denied the claim.

On Tuesday, more than 100 demonstrators — comprising both leftist leaders and general students — besieged the VC’s office after breaking down three gates — the main entrance of the Registrar Building and two others inside. The VC was holding a meeting inside.

At one point BCL men led by its General Secretary SM Jakir Hossain and its DU unit President Abid Al Hasan swung into action to escort the VC away, punching, slapping, kicking and beating up students and leftist leaders with iron rods, witnesses and victims said.

BCL denied the claim, saying it was the BCL men who came under the attack by “outsiders” and “Chhatra Dal activists”.

But photographs published in newspapers and video footage run in TV channels tell otherwise.

They show female Chhatra League leaders including Fazilatunnesa Mujib Hall unit President Benjeer Hossain Nishi, Ruqiayyah Hall unit President BM Lipi Akter, Kuwait Moitri Hall unit President BM Farida Parvin and General Secretary Srabony Shaila were seen beating up female students and tearing up their dresses.

However, the female BCL leaders claimed that the protesters assaulted them and that they took treatment at the the DU’s Medical Centre. They also posted photos of “taking treatment” on Facebook and demanded punishment of those “who attacked them and the VC”.

In fact, there was no attack on the VC, although the protesters had a long, heated argument with him over their demands.

Interestingly, although the BCL leaders admitted that they were present at the scene, DU Proctor Prof AKM Golam Rabbani yesterday claimed that no BCL activists were there.

Asked if he called in the BCL men, he told reporters at the VC’s office that they were not in a situation to call anyone.

Asked how the BCL activists then came to “rescue” them, he said, “I have already given you my reply.”

In a press release on Tuesday night, the university authorities said that some agitating students of the university and some outsiders launched a pre-planned attack on the VC in the name of demonstration. The release made no mention of the BCL attack on the protestors.

Contacted, BCL’s DU unit President Abid Al Hasan yesterday claimed they went to the VC’s office on information from general students. “Rescuing the VC was our moral duty.”

Meanwhile, Pragatisheel Chhatra Jote, an alliance of left leaning student’s organisation, yesterday called for a strike at all educational institutions across the country on January 29, protesting the Tuesday’s incident.

They will hold a rally at the base of Raju Sculpture at DU on January 26 and a nationwide demonstration on January 28, said Imran Habib, coordinator of the alliance.

General students under the banner of “Students against repression” in another press conference placed a five-point demand, including a fair investigation into the attack.

BCL leaders and activists under the banner of “Shacheton Shadharan Shikhkharthibrinda” too staged a sit-in in front of VC’s office around 12:00noon yesterday, demanding punishment of those who “attacked the VC and assaulted their female leaders”.





*News Searching By Thedailystar*

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