15 university reporters involved
Police filed two cases against around 900 students of Jagannath University in connection with vandalism on September 25.
The 900 students include 15 Jagannath University correspondents of different media houses who are also members of a faction of Jagannath University Journalists' Association.
Kotwali police filed a case against around 400 students including the 15 journalists, several leaders of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal and Islami Chhatra Shibir. Shahbagh police filed the other case accusing around 500 students including Chhatra Dal and Shibir leaders.
A faction of the journalists' association yesterday formed a human chain and held a rally on campus demanding that the names of those 15 journalists, who are also students of Jagannath University, be dropped from the case.
Police, however, say that they have evidence of their involvement in vandalism.
Mohsin Bepari, president of the executive committee of the faction and the Jagannath University correspondent of BSS, told The Daily Star that their rival faction of the association influenced police into implicating the 15 journalists. He denied the allegation of journalists taking part in vandalism and said they were there as journalists doing their jobs.
Kotwali Police Station Officer-in-Charge Mohammad Salauddin told The Daily Star that the journalists and leaders of Chhatra Dal and Shibir were implicated based on evidence and proof. “We have photographs and footage in our hands which show them vandalising properties,” the OC said.
However, Jagannath University Proctor Ashok Kumer Saha said yesterday, “We would talk to the police high-ups about withdrawing the cases filed in connection with the violence during the students' movement.”
Kotwali OC said, “Legally we have no right to withdraw any case. After investigation, we can submit a charge sheet against people involved or a final report if they are found innocent.”
He, however, said they would consider the initiative of the Jagannath University considering the overall situation.