Protesting the BCL attacks on students demanding quota reform in government jobs, female students of Dhaka University yesterday took to the streets and sought a safe campus for students.
The students of three female dorms -- Ruqayyah, Shamsunnahar and Sufia Kamal -- brought out processions in their halls on Wednesday night, protesting the harassment of students and their detention.
Holding banners of their respective halls, around 200 students of the three dorms yesterday brought out a procession which paraded campus streets chanting slogans against imprisonment of university students and demanding their unconditional release.
Apparently opposing the female students' human chain, another group at the base of Raju Sculpture under the banner of “General Students of Dhaka University” held a human chain demanding an end to the unrest on the campus.
They said they did not want any kind of protest on the campus and wanted a normal atmosphere on the campus.
The girls had a pre-announced human chain at the base of Raju Sculpture around 11:00am, protesting the recent spate of attacks on students involved in the quota reform movement. But they found the space already occupied by the group opposing them.
Female students claimed that this group was being led by Chhatra League, pro-Awami League student body. They intentionally held the programme to foil their human chain.
Some BCL leaders started gathering in front of the DU library when the girl's procession reached there around 12:30pm. They started chanting slogans in support of continuing classes, witnesses said.
At one stage, the girls left the spot and gathered near Ruqayyah Hall where they held a press conference.
Speaking at the briefing, Afsana Safa, one of the protesters against the BCL attacks on quota reformists, said students leading the quota reform movement were attacked and later detained, though they had done nothing wrong except waging a legitimate movement.
“We want immediate release of the detainees and a safe campus for all students,” she said.
They also vowed to continue boycotting all academic activities until release of the detained leaders.
Chhatra League men allegedly called students outside DU campus to take part in the human chain, which was held under the banner of “General Students of Dhaka University”, in protest of creating instability on DU campus.
Asked, a female participant first introduced herself as a DU student, but later admitted that she is a student of Eden College.
She said she joined the human chain as per instruction of their senior leaders.
Seeking anonymity, several participants admitted that they are students of either Eden College or Home Economics College.
Many central BCL leaders were also seen there.
Meanwhile, a BCL leader, who allegedly beat up the quota reformists on June 30 and the next day, demanded punishment of those who carried out the attacks.
Replying to a question on whether he wanted punishment of the attackers, BCL Central School Affairs Secretary Joynul Abedin said he wanted trial of the attackers, but they would not spare anyone if they wanted to create unrest on the campus.
He was talking to journalists in front of the DU library.
In different photographs published in newspapers and video footage aired on TV channels, this BCL leader was seen leading the attacks on quota reformists on Saturday and Sunday.
SOCIOLOGY DEPT DEMONSTRATES
Teachers and students of DU Sociology Department yesterday formed a human chain, demanding immediate and unconditional release of its student Moshiur Rahman, who is a leader of quota reform movement.
Moshiur, a joint convener of Bangladesh Sadharan Chhatra Adhikar Sangrakkhan Parishad, the platform leading the ongoing quota reform movement, was allegedly picked up by BCL activists on June 30. Later, it was discovered that he was in Keraniganj Police Station.
The teachers and students of the department claimed that Moshiur had been kept in police custody without any specific allegation against him. They also declared that they would boycott classes and exams until he was released.
In another development, a group of Rajshahi University teachers in a press conference yesterday expressed their concern over the BCL attacks on quota reformists across the country in the last few days.
2 STUDENTS ASSAULTED
Two students of Chittagong University were beaten up allegedly by BCL men last night for making “derogatory remarks” about the prime minister and the BCL in social media, reports our correspondent there.
Mirza Fakhrul, a master's student of Political Science Department, and Mehedi Hasan Nirnoy, a second-year student of Accounting Department, took treatment at the CU's medical centre.
Talking to The Daily Star, Fakhrul said when he was going to Alaul Hall from AF Rahman Hall around 9:45pm, some 10-12 BCL men attacked and beat him up.
Later, some students of Alaul Hall took Fakhrul, also president of Bangladesh Chhatra Federation of CU unit, to the medical centre.
Mehedi was beaten up allegedly by BCL men in zero point area on the campus around 9:30pm.
At one stage of beating, Mehedi took shelter to the nearby police outpost.
Sabur Mia, sub-inspector of the police outpost, said they took Mehedi to the medical centre.