Beaten up on way to meet VC
At least 15 leaders and activists of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal were injured in an attack allegedly by Bangladesh Chhatra league men on Dhaka University campus yesterday afternoon.
The incident happened when around 30 JCD men were entering the campus for a scheduled meeting with Vice-Chancellor Prof Md Akhtaruzzaman at his office.
Witnesses said 50-70 BCL activists swooped on the JCD men in front of Sir AF Rahman Hall around 4:25pm when leaders of the newly formed DU unit of JCD, pro-BNP student front, were going to exchange greetings with the VC.
The BCL activists, led by Reazul Islam and Muneem Shahriar Moon, president and general secretary of its hall unit, beat up the JCD men with cricket stamps and sticks.
Even though two JCD men became unconscious and fell on the road, the attackers did not stop, the witnesses added.
Later, BCL men from Kabi Jasimuddin Hall and Bijoy Ekattor Hall joined the attackers, they said.
Before the incident, several hundred activists of BCL, pro-Awami League student body, gathered at different points on the campus, including in front of administrative building and in front of the VC's residence.
Meanwhile, leaders of BCL DU unit met the VC around 3:00pm yesterday and submitted a memorandum on 30-point demand for the welfare of students, while the JCD leaders were scheduled to sit with the VC around 4:30pm, said sources.
The injured were taken to Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH).
Eight of them were badly injured, the JCD claimed.
They include DU JCD President Khorshed Alam Sohel and General Secretary Ariful Islam Arif, joint general secretaries Abdul Jalil Aminul, Farhan Mohammad Arif, Assistant General Secretary Munsi Sohag, SM Hall unit President Nasir Uddin Shawon and General Secretary Raju Ahmed.
However, the BCL denied the allegation of its involvement in the attack.
Arif, who was undergoing treatment at the DMCH, told The Daily Star, "We got permission to meet the VC. When we were entering the campus, a group of Chhatra League men carried out the attack without any provocation."
"We are students of the university, but the university administration failed to give us security. It is quite clear that the situation is not in favour of coexistence of all student bodies as the administration is biased towards the Chhatra League. We demand resignation of the VC and the proctor."
Saddam Hussain, general secretary of DU BCL, told this correspondent that Chhatra League leaders were busy discussing various students' issues with the DU administration. "Chhatra League men were not involved in the attack."
He added that they learnt that a faction of JCD was not satisfied with the new committee of its DU unit. "The incident happened due to Chhatra Dal's internal feud."
VC Akhtaruzzaman told this newspaper, "It was a shocking and unexpected incident. Chhatra Dal leaders were scheduled to meet me. We are trying to know why the incident happened."
Condemning the incident, a faction of Bangladesh Chhatra Union DU unit, Chhatra Federation DU unit and Bangladesh Chhatra League (JSD) central committee demanded the attackers be brought to book.