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24 January, 2018 12:21:04 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 24 January, 2018 12:47:52 PM
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BCL on rampage to ‘rescue’ Dhaka University VC

The Independent correspondent among 40 hurt
Staff Reporter
BCL on rampage to ‘rescue’ Dhaka University VC
BCL activists attempt to hit a female student with iron rods during an attack on protesting general students who laid a siege to the Dhaka University VC office in the capital yesterday. Inset: Students under the banner of ‘Students Against Repression’ bring out a demonstration on the campus, sporting a charter of demands including exclusion of the seven DU affiliated colleges and punishment for the BCL attackers. Photo: Mahmud Zaman

At least 40 people, including journalists, were injured as activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) yesterday launched an attack on students to ‘rescue’ the Dhaka University vice-chancellor. The students under the banner of ‘Students against Repression, had besieged the DU VC protesting repression on the campus by BCL and other decisions by the DU administration. At least 15 of the injured were admitted to Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH), including The Independent Dhaka University correspondent Mir Arshadul Haque. He received head injuries and needed several stitches. Others admitted to DMCH include Bangladesh Chhatra Union General Secretary Liton Nandi, Bangladesh Chhatra Federation DU unit President Ummey Habiba and Masud Ali Mahdi, coordinator of students demanding DUCSU polls.

Defending the actions of BCL, the ruling Awami League’s affiliate student body, its President Saifur Rahman Sohag told journalists at Madhur Canteen on the DU campus yesterday evening that the BCL activists went to the VC office to rescue the vice-chancellor and offer arbitration. The activists removed the agitating students to uphold the respect of the VC, he said.

About 20 BCL activists, led by its General Secretary SM Zakir Hossain, moved in the afternoon to rescue the vice-chancellor after the protesters broke open the gate of Vice Chancellor Md Akhtaruzzaman’s Office and besieged the VC for about three hours.

After the BCL team moved the vice-chancellor to his room, several hundred BCL activists armed with rods and sticks began a rampage, attacking the protesting students, witnesses said.

They beat up the protesting students

with sticks and rod, threw stones at them, blocked the exits from the VC office to

prevent the students from running away

and assaulted many including girls.

Earlier in the day, hundreds of demonstrating students took position outside the office of the VC around 12 noon, confining him inside the office. The students threatened to keep occupying the VC’s office until the demands are met. Earlier, protesting students formed a human chain demo in front of Aparajeyo Bangla around 11am and paraded around the campus.

The protesters’ alliance came into being after female students were allegedly assaulted by BCL activists at a rally on January 15 that had urged the DU authorities to cancel its affiliation with seven colleges in Dhaka.

Following the incident, students laid siege to the proctor’s office the next day demanding punishment to the accused BCL activists. They also demanded that the authorities open an inquiry into the “attack” and file a report within two days.

However, no action was taken against BCL members and the DU authorities, instead, filed a case against 50-60 unidentified students on Jan 18 accusing them of vandalising the proctor’s office.

The DU authorities said a probe body was formed, headed by Rokeya Hall Provost Zinat Huda, and three students were summoned to testify but none of them showed up.

SR

 

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Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
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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.

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