Unfazed by police clubbing students back on street
Undeterred by Wednesday's police clubbing, some 1,000 demonstrators again took to the capital's streets yesterday staging sit-ins at Central Shaheed Minar and Shahbagh demanding fresh tests for admission to medical and dental colleges citing question paper leak allegations.
Meanwhile, the demonstrating admission seekers and left-leaning student organisations alleged that some 10/15 youths claiming to be medical students tried to “misguide” the protests.
Protestors under the banner “Chhatra Obhibhabok Oikko Forum” announced organising a rally in Shahbagh at 3:00pm today while Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal, through a statement, declared staging countrywide demonstrations tomorrow.
Ain o Salish Kendra, in a statement, condemned Wednesday's beating of demonstrators at Shahbagh following a scuffle with police, after which 26 admission seekers and Samajtantrik Chhatra Front activists were detained.
“Police hauled some students to Shahbagh Police Station's service delivery room, beat them up with rifles and tore the clothes of some female students. We demand proper punishment of the guilty police members for their excesses,” it read.
The rights organisation also demanded that the government bring up a solution through discussions and in a democratic way.
Moreover in Barisal, admission seekers organised a rally in front of Sher-e-Bangla Medical College Hospital's administrative section, threatening to resort to fast-unto-death if the September 19 admission tests were not cancelled.
The enrolment process at the college is ongoing, reports our Barisal correspondent.
Yesterday, some 500-600 admission seekers, their parents and left-leaning student organisations staged a sit-in at Central Shaheed Minar from 9:00am to 12:30pm.
In a procession, comprising some 1,000 demonstrators, they then headed towards Shahbagh. They were stopped in front of Central Public Library by hundreds of armed police using barbwire barricades and armoured personnel carriers.
Additional Deputy Police Commissioner (Ramna Division) Md Ibrahim Khan said the barricades were for public security.
The demonstrators then staged a sit-in there. Some student organisations and Imran H Sarker led faction of Gonojagoron Mancha joined them.
The admission seekers told The Daily Star that altercations ensued several times after the 10/15 youths tried to keep them from bringing out the procession and taking it past Central Public Library. This prompted some admission seekers to leave the Shahbagh sit-in.
The youths also tried to keep at the front of the procession a banner bearing the prime minister's photo and messages urging her to intervene in the matter, they said.
The youths, donning white coats usually worn by doctors, were seen continuously on the phone in a fashion which seemed like they were taking instructions from someone.
“Some students of Mymensingh, Dhaka, and Sir Salimullah medical colleges tried to foil our demonstration,” said one admission seeker, Rashed Rahat. He said to have passed HSC from Dhaka City College.
One of the youths, Sumon Hossain, claimed to be a second year student at Mymensingh Medical College.
“There will be no movement without our decision. We do not want any clash with cops,” he told The Daily Star.