Activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League yesterday attacked and foiled agitation of Pragatisheel Chhatra Jote on the campuses of three different educational institutions, leaving at least 40 injured.
The leaders and activists of Pragatisheel Chhatra Jote, an alliance of left-leaning student organisations, observed a nationwide strike protesting against the attack on Dhaka University students carried out by BCL activists on January 23.
In Sylhet, BCL men swooped on a procession brought out by the Jote activists at the main gate of Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (Sust) around 11:00am, leaving eight of them wounded.
Of them, Samajtantrik Chhatra Front activist Joydwip Das, a third year student of the university, has been admitted to Sylhet MAG Osmani Medical College Hospital with critical head injury, while others received primary treatment.
Witnesses said a group of BCL activists allegedly led by Moshiur Rahim Bhuiyan, Mushfiqur Rahim Zia and Sust BCL Joint Secretary Subrata Paul attacked the procession in front of the university gate.
Proctor Prof Jahir Uddin said the Sust authorities would form a probe body to find out who led the attack.
At a press conference, leaders of Chittagong unit Chhatra Jote yesterday claimed 30-40 of their activists were injured in BCL attack.
The BCL men also vandalised Dost Building, office of different progressive students' organisations, creating panic in the area, the Jote leaders claimed at a press conference held at Maulana Bhashani Auditorium of the building.
Al Kadery Joy, coordinator of the alliance, alleged Samajtantrik Chhatra Front activist Mushfiq Uddin Wasi was picked up by BCL men and kept confined at Chittagong Municipal School.
Later, a group of BCL men of City College unit attacked the Jote activists in the city's New Market area around 1:30pm when they were returning to their respective offices after completing the procession, said witnesses.
BCL Chittagong city president Emran Hossain Emu said he was not aware of any such attacks.
Ahsan Habib, general secretary of Samajtantrik Chhatra Front of Chittagong University unit, was picked up by some BCL men from the Social Science Building, assaulted and handed over to the CU proctor.
The Jote activists also came under attack at Rajshahi University when they were observing the strike in front of the administration building, alleged Kingshuk Kingjal, president of Chhatra Federation.
A faction of BCL led by two former vice presidents attacked the protestors around 9:30am, claimed Kingshuk.
On DU campus, the Jote activists padlocked the main gate of Arts Building when around 70-80 general students joined them expressing solidarity around 8:00am.
They brought out a procession marching different streets on the campus before gathering at the base of Aparajeyo Bangla and held a brief rally there.
At the rally, Imran Habib Rummon, convener of the alliance, condemned yesterday's fresh attacks.
He announced to continue with their protest at all education institutions across the country against the BCL attacks.
A section of DU students under the banner “Students against repression” has meanwhile conducted a press conference at Modhur Canteen on the campus where they placed various demands.
Coordinator of the movement Masud Al Mahdi claimed eight members of the three probe committees formed over the January 15, 17 and 23 incidents were present in Sunday's human chain organised by Dhaka University Teachers Association.
“The members of the probe bodies have clearly sided with the university authorities. This means they have finalised the report and now would establish it,” said Masud while reading out a statement.
“Such behaviour is not unexpected from the teachers as we had earlier seen them being engaged in scuffles and holding counter-human chain blaming each other over the incidents,” he added.
Masud and other students rejected the probe bodies terming those “biased” and demanded expulsion of those involved in the attacks and removal of DU Proctor Prof Golam Rabbani.
On January 23, at least 50 protestors were injured when BCL men swooped on them to “rescue” the VC, who was kept confined by the protestors in front of his office.
The following day, BCL men swooped on activists of the left-leaning student organisations in two other education institutions during their programmes protesting against the January 23 attack.