CU teachers' buses attacked: 15 hurt
At least 15 Chittagong University teachers were injured when activists of Islami Chhatra Shibir attacked two university buses with guns and crude bombs at Chharahpul of Hathazari upazila yesterday.
Eight of them were admitted to Chittagong Medical College Hospital while the others received first aid from the university's medical centre, said university Proctor Siraj-ud-Daula.
Fatema-tuz-Zahura, a lecturer of sociology department, Ashrafuzzaman, assistant professor of anthropology, Shirin Ara Chowdhury, assistant professor of management, Sayeeda Halima, a professor and chairperson of chemistry, Sabrina Alam, lecturer of applied physics, Tanvir Haidar, associate professor of finance and Sunanda Baidya and Sonam Akter, lecturers of biochemistry departments were admitted to CMCH.
Emergency doctor Farid Uddin Ahmed at CMCH said none of them received bullet or splinters injuries. They were hurt by glass fragments.
The injured teachers said their buses came under attack on their way to campus from the port city around 10:30am.
Lying on CMCH bed with head injuries, Ashrafuzzaman said seven to eight attackers first opened fire and then hurled crude bombs. He could not believe students could attack teachers.
“We thought a tyre of the bus had exploded,” he told The Daily Star, adding, “We hid behind the seats and the driver drove away quickly.”
Traumatised Sonam Akter was not in a state to talk. Her ear was injured badly. Fatem-tuz-Zohura sustained injuries in her right hand and neck and Shirin on the left cheek.
“We were going to the university to impart lessons, to reduce session jams ... how could they attack us?” said Shrabonti Saha, a lecturer of Biochemistry who escaped injuries.
Police arrested five Shibir activists -- Md Akteruzzaman, 22, Sabbir Hawladar, 22, Md Yusuf, 23, Imran Ali, 25 and Md Tauhid, 23 -- in Chhararkul and Fatehabad areas of Hathazari.
All of them are students of the university.
Officer-in-Charge Md Ismail of Hathazari Police Station said two of them were arrested at the spot and the rest from the nearby student messes.
Md Shahidullah, additional superintendent of police, Chittagong north, claimed that two of the arrestees had admitted to taking part in the attack.
Police also picked up 15 people from a cottage near Suhrawardi Hall around 6:30pm. Six sharp weapons, six crude bombs, a homemade gun, and leaflets and banners of Shibir were also recovered.
Yesterday's attack was a sequel to the feud between Chhatra League and Shibir over establishing supremacy on campus and CU dormitories.
The university saw Shibir domination for years but pro-ruling Awami League student body Chhatra League was able to take control of the campus but not all the dormitories.
Shibir and Chhatra League clashed twice since January over taking control of each other's dormitories, campus sources said.
The authorities concerned had closed Shibir-controlled Shah Amanat Hall after a gun battle between Shibir and Chhatra League on January 12. They also had another gunfight on August 24 over Suhrawardy Hall, forcing the authorities to close that one too.
Yesterday's attack came when the pro-Jamaat student body had been enforcing an indefinite strike on campus since August 31 demanding reopening of the two Shibir-dominated dormitories, CU Proctor Siraj-ud-Daula told The Daily Star.
The Shibir's strike was also to protest the authorities' decision to cancel the allotment of rooms for students at Shah Amanat Hall and have fresh allotments.
Campus sources said Shibir men attacked the two buses as their demands were not met.
Meanwhile, the teachers' association of the university brought out a procession and held a rally on campus demanding immediate arrest and exemplary punishment for the attackers.
Its president Prof Benu Kumar Dey said, “We want the CU syndicate to identify all the attackers and ban the organisation involved ... .”
Meanwhile, the university syndicate at a meeting in the afternoon decided to keep the university open “at any cost”.
“The meeting decided to have police escort for buses carrying teachers all the way to and from campus,” Prof Imran Hossain, a syndicate member, told The Daily Star.
The meeting also decided that the university would bear all the expenses for the treatment of the teachers and entrusted the police with the power to raid any place on campus including dormitories without permission.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh Chhatra League CU unit blockaded a road at Sholoshahar Gate-2 intersection around 3:30pm protesting the attack.
Police dispersed them half an hour later.
Chhatra League later brought out a procession in the port city and held a rally at Sholoshahar Railway Station.
Chhatra League leader SM Ariful Islam said they demanded exemplary punishment for the “Shibir cadres” who attacked their teachers.
He said they also wanted punishment for the “pro-BNP-Jamaat teachers” who “instigated” the Shibir men. “We want the ban of Shibir on campus,” he said.