JU: BCL seizes 20 buses, collects Tk 20,000 in ransom

BCL men seize Selfie Paribahan buses on 13 October, 2023.
Prothom Alo

Leaders and activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) have collected Tk 20,000 from 20 coaches of a transport company – Selfie Paribahan – after seizing them in the Jahangirnagar University (JU) area.

The incident took place around 11:00 am on Friday after a bus staff allegedly misbehaved with a BCL activist – Abdullah Al Saad, a student of the physics department – while boarding the bus.

BCL is the student wing of governing Bangladesh Awami League (AL).

Abdullah claimed he attempted to board a Selfie Paribahan bus from the Gabtoli bus stand in Dhaka on Thursday evening to return to campus. But the bus staff restricted him from embarking and pushed him away. At one stage, he fell on the street, sustained injuries, and got his laptop damaged.

Taking a cue from the incident, the BCL members started seizing Selfie Paribahan buses crossing the highway adjacent to the university campus at around 11:30 am.

During a spot visit, more than a dozen of buses were seen lined up along the highway, while some of the 49th batch students were collecting keys from the vehicles. They are all involved with the BCL and followers of JU unit secretary Habibur Rahman alias Liton.

One of the owners of the transport company told Prothom Alo on the condition of anonymity that JU students seized at least 20 buses over a trivial matter, causing them significant losses. However, BCL leader Liton settled the issue by collecting Tk 20,000 from the bus company.

When contacted, Liton claimed to be completely unaware of collecting money from the bus owners. He said, “I came to know about the bus seizures, and the issue is settled now. I have no idea about the money. We want a solution from the university administration and want them to talk to the bus owners so that no other students face similar harassment by the bus staff.”

ASM Feroz-ul-Hasan, the JU proctor, said he on information moved a security official to the spot, who found that the students had already released the buses. None of the owners or students reported the issue to the proctorial body, he added.