Is Chhatra League untouchable?
We are shocked at the way Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) men attacked an event organised to mark the third death anniversary of BUET student Abrar Fahad on the Dhaka University campus on Friday. Reportedly, after the attack, BCL activists again assaulted the members of Bangladesh Chhatra Odhikar Parishad – which organised the memorial event – when the latter went to Dhaka Medical College Hospital for treatment. And the police, instead of stopping the attackers or taking any action against them, detained 20 Chhatra Parishad men for interrogation. Among them were some who went to the hospital to take care of the injured! Surprisingly, Chhatra League men didn't bother to stop even there. On Saturday, they filed two cases against the members of Chhatra Odhikar Parishad and the police have already sent detained leaders and activists of the organisation to the court.
These incidents speak volumes about the vicious environment in our public universities where student wings of the ruling Awami League often terrorise other student organisations as well as general students to establish their supremacy on campus. The question is, what prompted the BCL to carry out this particular attack? Is it because the event was a reminder that it was BCL leaders and activists who had beaten Abrar – a second-year student of electrical and electronic engineering – to death in 2019 and thus subjected them all to intense scrutiny? And what message did they want to convey to the students through these attacks and lawsuits? Did they want them to know that they have no right to express their opinion or organise any programme that goes against the interests of BCL?
Only a few days ago, the BCL men swooped on rival Bangladesh Chhatra Dal leaders and activists on the DU campus while they were on their way to meet VC Prof Md Akhtaruzzaman. The recent happenings in Eden Mohila College have also exposed how BCL leaders carry out their seat business and extortion in public universities. Seat trade has always been a tool for them to fill their coffers and establish their dominance. Although BCL members carried out many of their atrocious activities under the very nose of the authorities, we rarely see them take any punitive/disciplinary action. Rather, on many occasions, university administrations took their side despite overwhelming evidence suggesting their involvement, which is condemnable.
We urge the authorities concerned, including the police and DU administration, to take appropriate action against the BCL leaders and activists involved in the attacks on the members of Abrar Fahad Sriti Shangshad. We would also like to urge the government to expedite the process of executing the verdict on Abrar murder case after completing all the necessary procedures. Violence on campus should never be condoned or tolerated, no matter what party seal the attackers are carrying on their shoulders.