Journo assaulted by DU BCL activist for not making positive report

Dhaka University. UNB File Photo

A journalist has allegedly been assaulted at Sir AF Rahman Hall of Dhaka University for not making a positive report about the president of the hall unit Chhatra League (BCL).

The incident took place at Room 115 of the hall on Thursday afternoon.

The victim, Rifat Haque, is the DU correspondent of an online news portal and a second-year student of mass communication and journalism department, while the accused has been identified as Farhan Tanvir alias Nasif, a second year student of linguistics department and follower of the hall unit BCL president Riazul Islam. They both stay in the same room controlled by Riazul Islam.

Most of the 104 rooms of the hall are controlled by two factions of the hall unit BCL. The BCL leaders unofficially allot rooms to the students officially attached to the hall. Having no alternative, the journalist also stays at the hall under the BCL faction led by Riazul Islam, a follower of the student front’s central president Al Nahian Khan Joy.

Talking to Prothom Alo, Rifat Haque alleged that Farhan got into an argument with him on Monday (11 April) as the name of the BCL central president Al Nahian Khan Joy was not highlighted in a news report released on the news portal Rifat works for. However, the incident did not take a serious turn then.

Taking a cue from the incident, a fresh altercation erupted between them on Thursday afternoon after Rifat’s news portal carried an opinion piece authored by the BCL's hall unit secretary Munayem Shahriar.

“Farhan told me, ‘you stay under the group of Riaz Bhai (hall president) and publish news, writings of the leader of another group (hall secretary). I would kick you out of the hall if you were junior to me.' When I protested, he kicked me in the abdomen and punched me in the chest and face,” said Rifat.

However, Farhan denied the allegation, saying, “I had a simple conversation with Rifat about politics. I did not beat him. Many things are being exaggerated now. Rifat might have political motives behind his accusations.”

Sir AF Rahman Hall unit BCL president Riazul Islam also claimed that an altercation took place between Rifat and Farhan, but there was no assault.

He told Prothom ALo, “I talked to both Rifat and Farhan and came to know that there was an altercation, Rifat was not beaten. I have settled the issue between them.”

Meanwhile, Rifat lodged a complaint with the hall provost KM Sayful Islam Khan, seeking justice.

The provost also confirmed that he received the complaint and will take steps soon regarding the issue.