Chhatra League activists of Dhaka University’s Sergeant Zahurul Haq Hall tortured four students for nearly three hours before handing them to police early Tuesday.
The BCL men labelled them as Shibir activists and handed them to Shahbagh police around 3:30am in the presence a team of officials from the DU proctor’s office.
Shahbagh police released the four hours later but didn’t say whether they found their involvement with Shibir.
With bruises on his face, M Mukim Chowdhury, one of the four, began a sit-in at Raju sculpture on campus around 5:00pm yesterday, saying he would not leave until getting justice.
The student of tourism department said he had never supported Shibir and had been involved with the BCL.
Sanwar Hossain of political science, Minhaz Uddin of Islamic history, and Afsar Uddin of Arabic were the others who had been beaten up.
The event harks back to the killing of Buet student Abrar Fahad by BCL activists at a dorm on October 7 last year. The BCL activists labelled him as a Shibir man before torturing him to death.
Abul Hossain, officer-in-charge of Shahbagh Police Station, said the students were handed over to their guardians around 2:30pm yesterday.
However, Sanwar and Afsar’s fathers told this newspaper late last night that they didn’t know where their sons were and their phones had been switched off.
Minhaz told The Daily Star that he was at a relative’s house in the capital.
Narrating the event, Mukim said, “Around 11:15pm on Monday, Chhatra League hall unit Vice-president Anwar Hossen called me and asked me go to the hall’s guestroom. After reaching there, I saw hall union Vice-president Saifullah Abbasi Ananta, General Secretary Toufikul Islam, hall BCL Joint General Secretary Amir Hamja and Anwar Hossain.
“Since another group of students were celebrating someone’s birthday, the Chhatra League leaders took me to the hall union office.
“Then they called Sanwar and him to come to the union office. After Sanwar reached there, Anwar showed us screenshots of a Messenger conversation and said that it was proof that we were Shibir activists.
“At one stage, Amir Hamja started to punch me and kick me, saying that I was a Shibir activist. After a while, I realised that the screenshots were fake.
“They kept asking us to admit we were Shibir activists. Hall union VP Abbasi then started beating us up with a hammer.”
Mukim alleged that around 12:30am, the BCL leaders took them to the roof of the dorm where former BCL central unit member Mahfuzur Rahman Emon, Amir Hamja, Abbasi, and hall BCL Vice-president Kamal Uddin Rana struck them with wires and cricket stumps.
The BCL men mainly struck their on knee and hands, Mukim said.
“Around 1:30am, they took me to the guest room again and I saw Minhaz Uddin and Afsar Uddin come to the guest room after being called by the leaders.
“They continued to strike me and Sanwar up and started beating up Minhaz and Afsar as well,” Mukim said.
He alleged that Prof Billal Hossain, house tutor of the hall, came to the guest room around 2:30am and didn’t do anything to stop the beating.
The house tutor then informed the proctor’s office and police.
Prof Billal could not be reached for comment.
Shahbagh police took Sanwar and Mukim to the Dhaka Medical College Hospital, and later to the police station.
Talking to this correspondent, Minhaz gave a similar account of the events.
Wishing anonymity, several BCL leaders, who were present at the scene, admitted they had beaten up the four students.
Contacted, BCL leader Anwar said, “The hall union members told me that they caught a Shibir man and they showed me a screenshot of Mukim’s conversation, which proves that he was a Shibir man. I know nothing about Mukim or the three other students being beaten up,” he added.
Anwar added that he asked the others to hand Mukim over to law enforcers.
Despite repeated attempts, the other BCL leaders could not be contacted.
DU Proctor Prof AKM Golam Rabbani said the students were handed over to police to check whether they were involved in “anti-discipline activities”.
In November last year, Rabbi Ahmed, a BCL activist of DU Bijoy Ekattor Hall, beat up Rana Akondo, a freshman of the hall, with a cricket stump after the latter failed to show up at a BCL event.
In February 2018, BCL men of DU Salimullah hall beat up Ehsan Rafiq, a resident of the hall, labelling him as a Shibir man.
Contacted, DU BCL General Secretary Saddam Hussain said if any student was found to be involved in fundamentalist activities, they should face legal action.
Meanwhile, a three-member probe body, headed by senior house tutor Prof Muhammad Jahidul Islam, was formed last night to investigate the incident, Provost Delwar Hossain told The Daily Star.
The committee was asked to submit its report by seven working days, he added.