Defying Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's warning, Chhatra League men have yet again attacked activists of the quota reform movement.
At least five students of Begum Rokeya University in Rangpur sustained injuries as a group of BCL men swooped on them with iron rods and bamboo sticks on the campus yesterday.
With this, BCL men have attacked quota reform protesters at least 18 times since the demonstration, seeking reform in public service's quota system, began in April. The attacks took place at various universities and other educational institutions.
Yesterday's incident happened days after Road, Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader told reporters at his office, “After a rally at the Suhrawardy Udyan, the prime minister, in my presence, warned Chhatra League leaders and activists that she doesn't want to hear any more complaints against the organisation of doing excesses.”
Witnesses said around 50 students of Begum Rokeya University brought out a procession from the premises of academic building around 11:00am to press home their demands, including quota reform.
As soon as the procession reached near the administrative building, a group of BCL men, led by the university unit General Secretary Nobel Sheikh, attacked the protesters and chased them away, reports our correspondent at the university.
The programme was foiled right there.
The injured were given primary treatment at local clinics, said the protesters.
Contacted, Nobel denied his involvement in the incident. According to him, the protesters were trying to “create anarchy in the name of movement”.
“Most of the protesters are outsiders. We will not let the infiltrators spoil the educational environment on the campus. That's why we protested [their programme],” he said.
Meanwhile, the injured students said some policemen were present near the sport during the attack. Instead of stopping the attackers, the law enforcers locked the main gate of the university so that the demonstrators could not escape, they alleged.
Campus Police Outpost Sub-Inspector Mamtazul Islam denied the allegation. He said they closed the gate so that the demonstrators could not block the road outside the campus.
University Proctor Abu Kalam Mohammad Farid-ul-Islam said he was not aware of any attack.
In Chittagong city, around 200 students from different universities and colleges brought out a procession in Sholashahar area yesterday, demanding immediate release of the arrested quota reformists and punishment of those who attacked the protesters and harassed teachers.
BCL DEMAND TEACHER'S PUNISHMENT
Activists of Chittagong University BCL formed a human chain in front of Bangabandhu Chattar on the campus yesterday, demanding termination and punishment of Maidul Islam, an assistant professor of the university's sociology department.
According to the BCL men, Maidul made derogatory remarks about the prime minister on Facebook. The teacher, however, denied the allegation.
Yesterday's human chain was attended by former CU BCL president Mohammad Alamgir Tipu as well as Chhatra League leaders Abu Torab Porosh, Mansur Alam, Abdul Malek and Mohammad Arman -- all accused in BCL leader Diaz Irfan Chowdhury murder case, reports our CU correspondent.
The BCL activists said they would not allow Maidul to enter the campus and threatened that they would wage a tougher movement if the university authorities did not take necessary steps against him by Sunday.
On June 23, Md Ifterkhar Uddin Ayaz, a former executive member of CU BCL, filed a case against Maidul under Section 57 of Information and Communication Technology Act over his alleged remarks on the PM.
The sociology teacher left the campus along with his family members on July 15 following BCL threat. He later informed the matter to university authorities and sought security from them.
Talking to The Daily Star a couple of days ago, Maidul said, “I uphold the spirit of our Liberation War and the ideology of Bangabandhu. The Chhatra League men brought false allegations against me as I spoke in favour of quota reform.”