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2 July, 2018 00:00 00 AM

Quota stir breaks out on prime campuses

Quota stir convener held
DU and RU Correspondents

Frequent brawling, along with boycott of classes and exams, broke out in prime public universities as the convener of the quota reform movement was detained in Dhaka yesterday. The Detective Branch (DB) police on arrested Rashed Khan, joint convener of the Bangladesh General Students Rights Protection Council, in a case filed under the Information Communication Technology (ICT) Act by Bangladesh Chhatra League law affairs secretary Al-Nahian Khan Joy.

The case was filed with Shahbagh police station under ICT Act in Article 57 yesterday morning.  Rashed was picked up from Bhasantek area in Dhaka. Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) deputy commissioner (media wing) Masudur Rahman confirmed the news. According to the case statement, Rashed went on Facebook Live on June 27 only to make “derogatory remarks” about the Prime Minister. Besides, he had allegedly been spreading misinformation to create chaos on different university campuses.

 Earlier, Rashed’s family members and friends alleged that Rashed was detained around 12:30pm. They said another person, Mahfuz, was also detained along with him.

 Prior to his arrest, Rashed appeared on Facebook Live and said police were following him. “The DB police have taken up position at the Majumder intersection in Bhashantek in the city and are trying to chase me. Please everyone, save me,” he pleaded.

In the afternoon, at least three quota reform activists, who tried to mobilise protesters at the Shahbagh intersection, was handed over to police after being mercilessly roughed up by Bangladesh Chhatra League men in front of Shahabagh police station.

Witnesses said the BCL men beat up the quota reforms activists brutally in front of law enforcers, who were mute spectators.

Al Mamun, Chhatra League’s deputy secretary on Liberation affairs, said every student who believed in the spirit of the Liberation War would resist those who wanted to destabilise educational institutions in the name of quota reform movement. He said they handed over three demonstrators to police, but denied any incident of assault.

When asked, Shahbagh police said they could not divulge any information about the incident.    

Meanwhile, Mir Lokman, a Mime Action Artist and the founder president of the Dhaka University Mime Society, came under attack on the DU campus for posting a status on social media regarding the quota reform movement.

Jagannath Hall BCL president Sanjit Chqandra Das had slapped him in front of the university, claimed Lokman.

However, Sanjit denied the allegation brought against him.

On Saturday, at least 15 members of the Progressive Students Alliance, a platform of left student organisations, were beaten allegedly by a group of BCL activists in front of the DU library.

The incident happened right before the protesters were about to hold a press briefing to announce their next course of action as three months had gone by since Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s promise to remove the quota system.

The platform brought out a protest rally on the Dhaka University campus yesterday, demanding punishment of those BCL members who had carried out the attack on Saturday.

On the other hand, the quota reform movement could not be held on the Rajshahi University (RU) campus yesterday. Leaders and activists of the BCL allegedly foiled their movement.

Protesting against the attack on the participants of the quota reform movement in Dhaka University on Saturday, RU students were prepared to hold a pre-scheduled human chain in the central library area at 10am. The students boycotted classes and exams to participate in the programme.

But BCL activists chased the students and beat them up them with sticks.

Later, general students was trying to reorganise in front of the central library for holding their scheduled human chain programme. But the BCL men went after them and assaulted seven to eight of them. The BCL members held motorcycle showdown on the campus to intimidate the students.

Eyewitness said that some students tried to gather in front of the university’s central library around 9am. About 40–50 BCL activists, led by its their president Golam Kibria and general secretary Faisal Ahmed Runu, chased them with locally made arms. Two general students were injured.

“We didn’t chase any student. We just arranged a motorcycle showdown on the campus. Quota reform activists are trying to create unrest in the campus. They are trying paralyse normal life on the campus,” claimed Golam Kibria. “The BNP-Jamat alliance always tries to spread anarchy before civic polls and national elections. The quota reform movement has been designed as a part of their conspiracy,” he said.

Masud Munnaf, convener of the quota reform movement (RU chapter), said: “BCL leaders and activists foiled our human chain programme by snatching the banner. They beat up seven to eight of the students, who have been sent for medical treatment.”

RU proctor Prof. Luthfor Rahman said: “We’ll protect the demonstrators on the campus. Additional forces have been deployed to avert any untoward situation on the campus.”

UNB adds: Students of Chattagram University boycotted all classes and exams yesterday to register protest against Saturday’s attack on quota reform activists at Sholosohor in the city.

Anwar Hossain, convener of  the Chattagram unit of the Bangladesh General Students’ Rights Protection Council, said a group of students had taken position in Sholosohor on Saturday.

At one stage, some Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) launched an attack on them, leaving two of the protesters injured, he alleged.

The injured, Tofail Ahmed and Arju Mia, co-conveners of the council, were given first aid.


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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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