In the last 40 days, Bangladesh Chhatra League’s Chittagong University unit has hogged headlines at least eight times for engaging in clashes that resulted into injuries to at least 40 people including policemen.
The pro-Awami League student organisation frequently engaged in factional clashes on the campus. CU BCL dissolved its executive committee in December 2017 after a clash between followers of the unit’s president and general secretary.
The unit went on an indefinite strike on April 7 to press home their four-point demand including resignation of Proctor Ali Asgar Chowdhury and release of six of its leaders, who were arrested on April 3 following recovery of sharp weapons from different halls.
Two days later, they called off the strike with assurance from Vice Chancellor Professor Iftekhar Uddin Chowdhury of meeting their demands.
On March 23, a BCL activist confined two shopkeepers on campus as they refused to pay extortion money. Three days later, a group of BCL activists “abducted” Md Amdadul Haque, an alumnus of the university’s zoology department who came for viva exam for the post of a lecturer.
BCL activists assaulted him for extortion money and snatched away his belongings, Amdadul stated in a written complaint to CU authorities.
On March 31, two shuttle train-based groups “Choose Friends with Care (CFC)” and “Bijoy”, locked into clash centring a Facebook post.
The next day, they clashed over the same issue for at least four times. Police raided several halls that night and recovered two firearms and 128 rounds of bullets near one hall.
On April 2, following clashes between the groups, police raided dormitories and detained six BCL activists with sharp weapons and prosecuted them.
Much to one’s surprise, the groups then jointly went for the strike on April 7. They also clashed with cops, leaving nine people including five police personnel injured.
Proctor Ali Asgar Chowdhury at a press conference on April 7 said BCL activists were creating unrest on campus because the university authorities did not give in to their demand of withdrawing suspension orders slapped on a few students.
According to administration, these students, who are followers of some senior BCL leaders, were expelled over various misdeeds. BCL activists are creating tension because the university is not complying with their demands, they added.
Sources inside the unit recently told this correspondent that many leaders were engaged in tender manipulations. Moreover, they try to influence recruitments and admissions at the university.
Refuting the allegations, senior leaders said juniors were becoming unruly because there was no committee heading the unit. “Everybody wants to be a leader. Sometimes, junior activists do not hail the decisions made by seniors,” said Md Alamgir Tipu, former president of BCL’s CU unit.
“They clash in order to gain personal benefits but use the name of Chhatra League,” he alleged.
CFC leader Rejaul Haque Rubel said the deadlock (in the unit) was a result of absence of a committee. “Since no committee has been in action, activists are engaging in fights over trivial matters.”
Bijoy leader Tarequl Islam alleged that some senior leaders were instigating juniors to implement their personal agenda and thus unrest was spreading across the campus.
BCL CU unit has been running without a committee for 15 months now.