BCL grassroots angered over central leaders’ role

BCL central organising secretary Anower Hossain at hospital bed after being beaten by police
Prothom Alo

As many as 13 residential hall units of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) in Dhaka University have condemned the torture on three leaders of the organisation inside Shahbagh police station. But the BCL did not issue any statement yet, much to the anger of the grassroot activists of the organisation.

Although BCL keeps mum, BNP’s student wing Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) and Chhatra Union issued statements condemning the attack.

However, BCL central president Saddam Hossain and secretary Sheikh Wali Asif went to home minister Asaduzzaman Khan yesterday and demanded punishment of the police officials responsible for the attack.

Today, BCL leaders went to Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) headquarters and urged DMP commissioner Khandakar Golam Faruque to take action against responsible police men.

These moves of central leaders, however, have failed to placate a section of aggrieved BCL leaders-activists.  They, mainly supporters of president-secretary of DU unit BCL, blame 'lack of sincerity' of two top leaders of central BCL in raising voice to ensure justice over the incident.

A section of BCL leaders took to social media to mock the central president and secretary. But the central leadership maintains that BCL is being considerate and dealing with the issue following a systematic process.

DMP Ramna Zone’s additional deputy commissioner (ADC) Harun Or Rashid took two central leaders of BCL to Shahbagh police station and beat them up mercilessly on Saturday night.

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The victims alleged that Harun had an altercation over personal matters with president Md Shahabuddin’s assistant personal secretary (APS) Azizul Haque. The APS called the BCL leaders to the spot. Later police took the BCL leaders to Shahbagh police station and tortured them.

Amid much hue and cry over the incident, ADC Harun was transferred from Ramna zone to Armed Police Battalion (ApBN).

But most of the current and former leaders-activists of BCL are content with the transfer of ADC Harun. They maintain that the way the police officer tortured the BCL leaders is a criminal offence. Harun should be suspended and sued.

None of the victims filed any case as of 3:30pm.

The victim BCL leaders are: central organizing secretary Anower Hossain, central committee's science affairs secretary and Shahidullah Hall unit’s secretary Sharif Ahmed and Bangabandhu Hall unit’s secretary Mahbubur Rahman.

Critically injured Anower has been admitted to hospital and two others went to hall receiving primary treatment.

Facebook posts blaming central leaders 

As two of the three victims are top leaders of two residential hall units, the incident aggravated the DU unit leaders-activists more.

Some associates of the DU president and secretary are criticizing the two top central leaders and blaming them for inaction. The gist of their Facebook posts is almost identical. But they also failed to convey what action they wanted BCL central leaders to take over the incident.

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Munshi Rakib Hasan, a joint secretary of Surja Sen Hall unit of BCL, posted first status against the central leaders. He is known as an associate of DU president Mazharul Kabir.

Several others including Zahurul Haque Hall unit’s joint secretary Asaduzzaman Farid, Surja Sen Hall unit’s member Minhazul Islam also gave similar posts on Facebook.

President Mazharul and secretary Tanvir did not issue any statement over the incident but they went to hospital to see injured BCL leader Anower.

Some for following systematic process

Some central leaders support the systematic process followed by two top central leaders.

From a responsible position, Chhatra League cannot be and would not be unrestrained. Chhatra League would follow a systematic process
Md Rakibul Hasan, Vice president, BCL

Md Rakibul Hasan, vice president of the central committee, wrote, “From a responsible position, Chhatra League cannot be and would not be unrestrained. Chhatra League would follow a systematic process.”

Several others including vice president Abdur Rahim, international affairs secretary Akib Mohammad Fuad and private university affairs secretary Amiruzzaman echoed the same on their Facebook statuses.

Central president and secretary were called for comment on the issue but neither of them responded to several calls on their mobile numbers. They have not picked up any calls since yesterday.

Human chain at TSC

A section of students hold a human chain at the foot of Raju Sculpture at Teachers’ Student Center in DU protesting the incident.

The protesters under the banners ‘Students of Dhaka University’ and ‘Gazipur district student welfare association’ demanded suspension and arrest of ADC Harun.

Several former central leaders including Sohan Khan, Shakil Ahmed, Syed Arif Hossain and Hasib Mir also joined the human chain.

The protesters said ADC Harun had beaten many leaders and activists of BCL, JCD, Chhatra Odhikar Parishad men. The general students were not also spared from ADC Harun.

The protesters also termed ADC Harun as mentally retarded police official.