Students of Kabi Nazrul Govt College, bottom left, rush out of their college gate ignoring policemen to chase Jagannath University students, who had attacked their college in Old Dhaka yesterday. Jagannath students torch cars and motorbikes, top, on the college campus and beat up college students, bottom right. Students of the college jump from a balcony as burning motorbikes, left, block their escape. Photo: Star/courtesy
A series of clashes between students of Jagannath University and Kabi Nazrul Govt College over a trifling matter left at least 30 people injured, including students, teachers and policemen, at Old Dhaka yesterday.
University students torched five cars and seven motorbikes parked on the college campus, broke the iron gate, vandalised several classrooms, furniture and office rooms of the college.
They also beat up teachers of the college and vandalised Islamia Govt High School on the college campus.
Police hurled 24 teargas canisters and fired five shotgun shells in their attempt to bring the situation under control, which took them two and a half hours.
College authorities have suspended all academic activities until 29th of this month but ongoing exams under the National University would go on as well as the freshmen admission tests.
College students said two students of Jagannath University were locked in a heated argument with some college students over standing in a queue of a bank on the college campus around 11:00am.
At one stage the university students were beaten up and forced to leave the college campus.
However, 45 minutes later a group of 10-12 university students went to the college and issued threats to the college students but had to run back to their turf being chased by college students.
Within an hour around 100-150 university students appeared in front of the college gate. They broke through the main gate and torched five cars and three motorbikes.
Two fire engines rushed to the spot and doused the fire.
The intruders also beat up people on the college campus indiscriminately, including three policemen who tried to resist them.
Later, college students chased the university students back to their campus. They also fought a running battle there.
Around 2:00pm a group of around 800 Jagannath University students retaliated. They went to the college campus and torched four motorbikes.
They swooped on bystanders on college campus too.
Meanwhile, Jagannath University students alleged that the college students beat up Psychology student Mahi when he went to the bank to deposit admission-test fees for a relative. When Mahi returned to his campus badly bleeding from the head, other students became angry.
They claimed that the college students also beat up some university students and stabbed a few when they went to the college campus to protest the beating up of Mahi.
They said several homemade bombs were blasted on the college campus at that time.
Streets near the two campuses were virtually closed to traffic during the clashes and people were seen running for cover in panic.
Principal Prof Shafiqur Rahman of Kabi Nazrul Islam Govt College told The Daily Star that they formed a three-member committee to probe the incident.
Jagannath University authorities also formed a six-member committee.
Police high officials and leaders of Bangladesh Chhatra League units at both institutions claimed that Islami Chhatra Shibir men carried out the attacks and vandalism taking advantage of the situation.
Officer-in-Charge Nazrul Islam of Sutrapur Police Station said they could not control the situation initially and had to call in reinforcements.
No one was arrested in this connection.
However, reportedly students attacked a police van near Sutrapur Police Station and injured three policemen around 11:00pm. The injured first received treatment at Dhaka Medical College Hospital but early yesterday they moved to Rajarbagh Police Lines hospital.