Islami Chhatra Shibir activists of Chittagong University allegedly exploded at least eight crude bombs at two railway stations between the port city and the institution yesterday, demanding reopening of two dormitories, which are reportedly dominated by the student body.
None was reported hurt in the blasts at Sholoshohor and Chowdhury Hat stations, but there was panic among commuters and a disruption in the movement of the shuttle trains.
In the morning, some activists tried to intercept a CU-bound shuttle train at Sholoshohor, said Shahab Uddin, the stationmaster. The train started off one hour late, at 8:45am, for this, he said.
When the train pulled away finally, three cocktails were blasted at the station, while five more went off at Chowdhury Hat station when it reached there, he said, adding that the demonstrators also set fire to the tracks.
Police, who were in the train, fired blank shots to disperse the demonstrators, said Arab Ali, assistant sub-inspector of the railway police.
Under the banner of general students, Shibir men have been demonstrating since Sunday, demanding reopening of Suhrawardy Hall and Shah Amanat Hall, which were declared temporarily closed following an hour of gunfight between Bangladesh Chhatra League and Shibir activists on August 24, sparked by an altercation.
Proctor Siraj-ud-Daula said Shibir wanted to scare off students from the campus and thus force the authorities to give in to their demand.
On August 24, cops intervened to stop the clash and recovered 13 petrol bombs and three cocktails. The halls housing over one thousand students were vacated the next day.
The proctor said the situation was now under control, and additional police were guarding the campus and the stations. Because of the blasts, all the morning trips of the two shuttle trains were delayed by at least one hour.
Shibir's CU unit organising secretary Saidul Islam admitted their support for the demonstration but denied Shibir's involvement in the blasts.