Last week, various political events of BNP and JCD came under attack and were obstructed in Dhaka and many other places across the country. Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) men attacked the JCD activists in Dhaka while some political rallies of BNP were foiled by police at different places of the country. All these programmes were basically called in protest of a statement that the PM made regarding BNP chief Khaleda Zia.
Except for these protest events, BNP and its affiliated bodies have been allowed to hold other political programmes peacefully.
Regarding the recent attacks, Mahbubul Alam Hanif, joint general secretary of AL, told Prothom Alo on Saturday that there is no question of obstructing BNP in holding any peaceful political programme. But the recent instigating remarks on PM Hasina and statements against the ongoing development called their actual intention into question. Why would AL create unrest if BNP remains peaceful?
PM Hasina, at a discussion on 18 May, lambasted some previous remarks of Khaled Zia on the Padma Bridge.
“Khaleda Zia had said the Padma Bridge was being constructed in a makeshift manner. Installation of spans on the bridge seemed makeshift to her. She also said the it will not be possible to use Padma Bridge and the structure will collapse if one gets on it. Some other people of the same feather also echoed the remark. What should be done to them now? They should be taken to the bridge and tossed into the river,” she said.
Leaders of BNP and AL continued their verbal attack against each other over the following days. Later, clashes broke out on 22 May when the JCD staged a rally in front of the Raju Memorial Sculpture at the Dhaka University campus, protesting the PM’s statement. JCD general secretary Saif Mahmud hurled aggressive remarks at PM Hasina, which prompted the BCL men to carry out an attack on some JCD activists at the TSC premises in the immediate evening.
The JCD later called a press briefing at the Dhaka University Journalists’ Association (DUJA) to explain their stance on the remark on 24 May. When they were marching towards the DUJA office from Dhaka Medical College area in the morning, the BCL men launched an attack on them in the Shaheed Minar area.
A fresh demonstration was announced in protest of the BCL attack on Thursday. But they came under BCL attack again during their attempt to enter the campus to stage the pre-scheduled demonstration on the day. In the face of attack by BCL, the JCD men took shelter in the Supreme Court premises, but they were beaten up there too.
On the same day, BNP’s Khulna city and Patuakhali district unit came under attack while holding rallies in protest of the ‘death threat to Khaleda Zia.’ The BCL men launched the attack in Patuakhali while the attack in Khulna was jointly carried out by police and the BCL. Another procession brought out by JCD was also foiled in the similar fashion in Barishal on the following day.
However, the Juba Dal held a rally in Shaheed Minar area in Dhaka on Saturday without facing any attack or obstruction.
Asked about the attack on JCD men, BCL general secretary Lekhak Bhattacharjee told Prothom Alo on Thursday that the JCD men adopted various tactics to destabilize the campus, including vandalism of university buses and brandishing with arms with the participation of outsiders.
He claimed that the BCL men expressed solidarity with the general students to maintain an academic environment in the campus and foiled JCD attempts.
The BCL general secretary also declared that the JCD men will be resisted every time they come to the campus to create violence.
A source at the policy making level in AL said there are some other reasons behind the attack on JCD. The BCL will not be allowed to lose its grip on Dhaka University campus and other important educational institutions.
Apart from that, the JCD central committee has been declared recently and are trying to display their strength. The BCL committee is soon to expire and is awaiting the next council. The desire of getting prestigious posts in the next committee is instigating the BCL leaders to exert their power against any JCD programmes.