L-R: Activists carry sharp weapons during a factional clash of Chhatra League at Bangladesh Agricultural University in Mymensingh yesterday. Students try to douse a fire at Isha Khan Hall (Extension) of Bangladesh Agricultural University in Mymensingh yesterday. Villagers, angry at a boy's killing during a BCL factional feud, set the dormitory afire. Photo: STAR
A 10-year-old boy was killed in a gun battle between two factions of Chhatra League at Bangladesh Agricultural University (BAU) in Mymensingh yesterday.
The authorities closed the university indefinitely following the hour-long clash that also left injured around 25 activists of the student body associated with the ruling Awami League. The male students were directed to vacate their dormitories by 6:30pm yesterday and female students by 8:30am today.
The deceased boy, Rabbi, hailed from nearby Boira village. Enraged at his death, some 500 villagers attacked five residential halls. They set fire to at least 30 rooms and ransacked many, said BAU Proctor Sazzad Hossain.
Four students were arrested for suspected involvement in the shootout, said Mymensingh Superintendent of Police Golam Kibria. He, however, declined to give their names.
Hours after the violence, the central committee of Bangladesh Chhatra League dissolved its BAU unit.
Students and witnesses said two groups -- one led by Al Azad, president of the university unit of BCL, and another by general secretary Rafiquzzaman Emon, got locked into a fierce clash around 1:00pm near the rail crossing on the campus over establishing domination at BAU.
Hearing the news of the clash, Rabbi, a madrasa student, went to bring back his grandmother who had gone to the campus to graze cattle.
But as he got caught in the line of fire, a bullet hit him in the forehead.
Around 2:00pm, a shopkeeper named Ananda took Rabbi to Mymensingh Medical College Hospital where the boy died around 3:45pm, said Prof Shah Alam, head of the hospital's pediatric surgery department.
Fazlul Karim, officer-in-charge of Mymensingh Kotwali Police Station, said the boy was aged around 10.
Additional police forces were deployed to fend off any further trouble.
Earlier on Friday, the groups fought on the campus, leaving 15 BCL men injured.