We are alarmed at the way a group of transport workers attacked Barishal University (BU) students in their private dormitories on Wednesday, leaving at least 25 of them injured. Reportedly, on Tuesday, two students of the university had gotten into an altercation with a transport worker at a BRTC bus counter and at one stage the worker allegedly stabbed one of them. Later, the university students vandalised the BRTC bus counter and blocked the Barishal-Kuakata regional highway for two hours in protest, so the transport workers, in a counter-attack the following day, attacked the students in their dormitories with sticks, rods and sharp weapons.
Clashes between transport workers and university students are nothing new in our country. Many such incidents were reported in the newspapers in the past. But attacking the students in their dormitories, with sharp weapons no less, has broken all the previous records of such atrocities carried out by transport workers.
This certainly deserves proper police investigation. We need to know what prompted or emboldened Rafiq (the transport worker) to stab Sajol (the student) in the first place. We also need to know the source of the power wielded by workers and who backs them so that they can commit such horrible crimes. The incident has also brought to light the overall rowdiness of our transport workers who often misbehave with the commuters on trivial matters. They need to be disciplined not only to stop such crimes but also to establish a safe and trustworthy public transport system. The impunity the transport workers enjoy after committing such crimes needs to be done away with.
However, it is good to know that police have already arrested Rafiq after the victim filed a case. We urge the police to arrest others involved in the attack in the dorms after conducting a thorough investigation. The BU authorities should also take proper measures to ensure their students' safety in the dorms and on the university campus. Such attacks on students are condemnable and must not be repeated.