Chhatra League men have allegedly threatened to shoot and kill quota reform activists if they do not stop their movement.
“None of you [protestors] will be spared. Just let the gazette [on quota reform] be published. You will be shot dead,” quota reform leader Nurul Huq Nur quoted Chhatra League Vice-president Imtiaz Bulbul Bappi as telling him.
Bappi dismissed the claim.
A group of BCL men led by Bappi, Dhaka University's Haji Muhammad Mohsin Hall BCL Secretary Mehedi Hasan Sunny, and Institute of Fine Arts BCL Secretary Fahimul Islam went to Nur's room at Mohsin Hall around 1:30am yesterday and threatened them with life, alleged Nur, a joint convener of the quota movement, in Facebook live yesterday.
Another joint convener of the platform, Muhammad Rashed Khan, a sports reporter of a private television channel and several others were present at the time.
The BCL leaders yelled at them and said the quota protestors were waging a movement against the government, alleged Nur.
“You [Nur and Rashed] were spared because of some senior leaders; otherwise it would not take much time for us to eliminate you,” he quoted Bappi as telling them.
The Daily Star obtained a 2:37-minute audio clip of the alleged conversation where some people are heard threatening someone.
Nur alleged Bappi was carrying a firearm in his pocket and asked them to seek blessings from their parents for one last time.
The BCL men tried to attack them again around 2:30am after watching the Facebook live video posted by Nur, claimed Nur.
“We called the proctor and dialled the national emergency helpline. But there was no response. The situation was later brought under control by the Mohsin Hall provost,” he added.
Nur, Rashed and another leader of the quota reform movement went to file a general diary with Shahbagh police yesterday afternoon over the threat, but the officer-in-charge said they needed “permission from the higher authorities” to record the complaint, Nur said.
Abul Hasan, the OC, said the matter concerned Dhaka University. “So we will take action after talking with the university authorities.”
Contacted, Mehedi Hasan Sunny, BCL president of Mohsin Hall where Nur stays, said he was present at the time but denied threatening anyone.
“I did not threaten anyone, Bappi did,” he told The Daily Star.
Another eyewitness, Sheikh Ashik, sports reporter of a private television channel, said, “Sunny and other Chhatra League men threatened Nur and Rashed.”
The BCL leaders also tried to attack them twice early yesterday, added Ashik.
Asked, Bappi said, “Nur stays beside my room. I went there and asked him not to spread rumours on Facebook using fake accounts.”
He also denied that he carried any firearms.
DU Proctor Prof AKM Golam Rabbani said he informed the Hall provost about the matter instantly and asked them to take initiatives to ensure protestor's safety.
Meanwhile, around 1,000 pro-quota reform students marched from Dhaka University's central library condemning the alleged threats by BCL men.
They demanded the immediate arrest of the BCL men and also safety and security of their activists at the dormitories.
“Do not think that the students are weak,” Nur warned the authorities.
He also expressed his frustration that police did not record his general diary, although they made him write it.
“I am a citizen of the country and a student of Dhaka University. Police demonstrated their irresponsibility by not taking our general diary. We deeply condemned such behaviour in a democratic country,” Nur said at a press conference later in the afternoon in front of the DU central library.
He said the indefinite strike at universities and colleges boycotting all academic activities will go on as per the earlier announcement until the gazette notification reforming the quota system is published.
Protests also took place at Jahangirnagar University and Chittagong University and several other universities and colleges, condemning the DU incident.
Shakil Uz Zaman, convener of the platform's JU unit, said, “Some unruly leaders of Chhatra League are trying to create unrest. If they harass any quota reform protestors, we, the students across the country will resist them.”