Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) activists assaulted a Dhaka University (DU) student of Jasimuddin Hall for not taking part regularly in their programmes. They kicked him in the abdomen where he had recently undergone surgery. They also beat up a Chhatra Union leader and five students of mass communication and journalism at Jagannath Hall.
These incidents took place this Wednesday and Thursday. After a spate of relative peace, BCL has suddenly turned reckless and violent again.
The organisation’s activists on Thursday beat up a Chhatra Union leader, Rajiv Kumar Das, in front of the Charukala (Fine Arts Institute) canteen. He is a student of political science and the social welfare secretary of Chhatra Union’s DU unit.
Chhatra Union said that Rajib had tried to take shelter in the Charukala premises when the clashes broke out with the police during the general strike organised by the national committee, demanding cancellation of the Rampal coal-fired power plant project in the Sundarbans. BCL leaders and activists tried to prevent him from entering and they exchanged words. He was them beaten up by the BCL activists.
Rajiv told journalists, “When I went for a cup of tea at the Charukala canteen, Chhatra League’s education affairs secretary Raisul Islam told me to get out. When I asked why, I was attacked by about 10 of their activists including Nazmul, Sujon and Raisul. They said I was involved in the Sundarban protection movement and beat me up.”
President of the DU Chhatra Union Tuhin Kanti Das said, “Chhatra League has become very intolerant of late. They attacked us on the day of the strike. They are regularly trying to grab control at various places.”
The student beaten up Jasimuddin Hall was Mohammed Rifat Islam, a student of mass communications and journalism. He told Prothom Alo, “At nine in the night, the Chhatra League ‘big brothers’ told him to take his admission pay slip to a room in the hall. He went to his own room to collect the slip when some other students accused him of being irregular at the programmes. They punched him in the face and threatened to evict him from the hall if his did not attend the programmes.
He left the hall in fear and returned at 11 in the night. He was told to go to that room again to attend Chhatra League’s ‘guestroom’ initiation for first year students. Rifat said, “I went to find that someone had complained to the ‘big brothers’ against me. I explained that I had recently undergone surgery so it was difficult for me to stand for so long at the programmes. Then at the instructions of the ‘big brothers’, Education and Research Institute’s Rezaul Karim, Bangla department’s Shakil Ahmad and others assaulted me. One of them kicked me in the abdomen, on my surgery wound. They punched me in the face. I was bleeding” Present in the guest room at the time were social welfare department’s Abul Hossain, language science’s Shawon Ahmed, library science’s Sohag Ahmed and philosophy department’s Tuhin Ahmed, all known to be followers of general secretary Shahed Khan.
Shahed Khan told Prothom Alo, “I was not in the hall. When I heard of the incident, I called Rifat and settled the matter. He will be shifted to a different room. I have warned those responsible against such incidents ever occurring again.”
Around the same time, five students of mass communication and journalism department were attacked while performing puja rites at Jagannath Hall. The victims said they were celebrating, dancing in a line, when followers of the hall’s BCL general secretary Utpal Biswas stopped them and told them to turn back. When they continued on, ignoring the order, they were attacked and beaten up by the BCL activists.
BCL university unit president Abid Al Hasan said, “I have heard about all these incidents. We will hold a meeting tonight to see what is to be done about the Jasimuddin Hall boy. Action will be taken against those involved in the incident. And a list has been sent to the central committee for the expulsion of Utpal Biswas and others involved in the Jagannath Hall incident. They will take the decision. And tonight a decision will be taken about the Charukala incident.”
Meanwhile, DU BCL general secretary Motahar Hossain has been accused of beating up first year students. On Wednesday morning four first year students were injured when two sides clashed at Muktijoddha Ziaur Rahman Hall. Motahar Hossain told Prothom Alo, “Prime minister Sheikh Hasina was to arrive at Bangla Academy in the afternoon and before that there were skirmishes in the common room of Zia Hall. I chased them with a rod and made they return to their rooms. But I did not beat up anyone.”
*The article is rewritten in English by Ayesha Kabir