Students from universities in and outside the capital yesterday continued protests against the murder of Buet student Abrar Fahad, while Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal activists -- student front of BNP -- came under attack during a demonstration at Jagannath University (JnU).
Six leaders and activists of JCD’s JnU unit were injured in the attack by activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League -- student front of the ruling Awami League -- on campus, according to witnesses.
The injured were identified as JCD JnU unit vice president Mijanur Rahman Nahid, joint general secretaries Ali Howlader and Mijanur Rahman Sharif, and activists Mehedi Hasan Himel, Shamsul Arefin and Jahid.
Witnesses said a group of JnU BCL activists, led by Atik Hasan Prince -- a student of accounting and information systems department -- attacked JCD men when about 30 of them were demonstrating on the campus around 9:30am, demanding punishment for the killers of Abrar.
Shahriar Hossain, a JCD activist, said, “Chhatra League men swooped on us all of a sudden. Six leaders and activists were injured.”
Atik Hasan Prince, however, said that JCD men tried to create unrest on the campus and shouted “objectionable” slogans against Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. “So, we chased them away.”
JnU Proctor Mostofa Kamal said the authority would take steps if anyone lodged a written complaint in this regard.
Meanwhile, students of Jahangirnagar University (JU) yesterday blocked the Dhaka-Aricha Highway for an hour, for the second consecutive day, protesting Abrar’s killing.
Around noon, about a hundred students gathered in front of Shaheed Minar on the university campus and staged a demonstration under the banner of ‘General Students of JU’. Later, they marched towards the highway and blocked it until 1:30pm.
Members of JCD’s JU unit brought out a separate procession around 9am, demanding justice for Abrar. They formed a rally in front of Amar Ekushey sculpture when Mahbubul Haque Rafa, library affairs secretary of BCL’s JU unit, chased them away.
A faction of teachers, under the banner of ‘Bangabandhu Shikkhok Parishad’, in a press release protested the brutal killing and demanded exemplary punishment for the killers.
At Rajshahi University, several hundred students staged a demonstration yesterday.
Around 11am, they gathered before the central library and demonstrated for half an hour under the banner ‘Against Terrorism and Corruption’. Later, they brought out a procession.
They demanded capital punishment for the BCL leaders involved in the killing of Abrar, a ban on BCL’s political activities, removal of university officials involved in corruption and security of general students on the university campus.
Meanwhile, female students of Chittagong University brought out a procession followed by a human chain on the campus, demanding capital punishment for the killers of Abrar.
They said due to delays in investigations of previous murders on campus and no punishment of the perpetrators, a culture of impunity was prevailing at public universities.
Fahmida Islam, a fourth-year student of Institute of Education and Research, said, “We do not want to see farce in the name of justice…Every time we see the killers somehow manage to save their skin using legal loopholes. This time, we would not let the killers escape by any means.”
In Narayanganj, general students held a candlelight vigil in front of Shaheed Minar, demanding arrest of the killers and justice.
(Our JnU, RU, JU, CU and Narayanganj correspondents contributed to this report.)