Attack on JCD: BCL men brag on Facebook
Soon after Tuesday's violence on Dhaka University campus, a top leader of Bangladesh Chhatra League claimed they had no "organisational involvement" in the attack on leaders and activists of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal.
He even tactically blamed it on general students, saying it was them who resisted the "criminal activities" of JCD.
But a number of BCL leaders posted photos, videos and texts on social media the same day to boast about their "active participation" in the attack.
One of them even expressed disappointment with two campus correspondents for not mentioning them in news reports.
Most of these BCL men hold posts in the central committee and DU hall units of the organisation.
They are looking for media coverage, even if it's for the wrong reason, as they think it will help them get better positions in the pro-AL student body when it holds council in a few months, according to insiders.
Their involvement in such an attack ahead of the council will be considered feathers in their caps, they told this newspaper.
"If anyone involved in such an attack gets the media spotlight, he will try his best to use it to get a better post," said a central BCL leader.
Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader, after a recent meeting of the party's central working committee, instructed the associate organisations, including the BCL, to prepare for the next national council.
It has created enthusiasm and excitement within the organisation, said the sources.
Teachers and some former student leaders said it has been a common practice that for key positions, the political parties select those who can take part in such attacks.
That's the reason the leaders were posting photos and writing posts on Facebook, bragging about their involvement, they added.
On Tuesday, BCL men armed with sticks, iron rods and machetes swooped on JCD leaders and activists who were trying to enter the campus. At least 30, including a few female activists, were hurt.
Photos and video clips, doing the rounds on social media, showed female activists of JCD being beaten up by BCL men.
The Daily Star found at least 10 BCL leaders uploaded their photos and wrote on Facebook mentioning their involvement.
Of them Saifulla Abbasi Ananta, former member of BCL central committee; Surap Mia Sohag, vice president of Shaheed Sergeant Zahurul Haque Hall unit; and Amir Hamja, joint secretary of the same hall unit, were seen with sticks in their hands in the photos they uploaded on Tuesday.
Amir, who was noticeably aggressive during the attack, approached this correspondent enquiring why he wasn't named in the news though he was "active".
"If you run any news about the attack, please include my name. The documents will help me get a better post," he said.
Amir also made a similar comment while talking to the DU correspondent of another national daily, this newspaper has learnt.
Besides, some other leaders in their Facebook posts proudly wrote about their "participation", saying they "successfully resisted" JCD.
They are central BCL Vice President Rakib Hossain, Private University BCL Secretary Al Amin Rahman, Shaheed Sergeant Zahurul Haque Hall President Rubel Hossain, General Secretary Kamal Uddin Rana, Sir AF Rahman Hall President Reazul Islam and General Secretary Munem Shahariar Moon, and Kabi Zashimuddin Hall General Secretary Lutfur Rahman.
Tanzimuddin Khan, a professor at DU international relations, said if the political parties consider such attacks as a qualification, it will never be possible to root out the use of muscle power from educational institutions.
"It seems that muscle power is becoming more important than good politics. And in this situation, the silence of the university authorities will encourage more power practice," he said.
Prof Kaberi Gayen of DU mass communication and journalism said, "The pro-ruling party student organisation always uses muscle power in politics … I demand trial for those involved in the attack, especially on women."
This correspondent tried to contact central BCL President Al Nahian Khan Joy and General Secretary Lekhak Bhattacharjee several times over phone, but they didn't respond.
Contacted, BCL Vice-President Syed Md Arif Hossain said, "Hitting an opponent is not considered an achievement in our organisation."
"However," he added, "those who stay with the party during a crisis are recognised."