Bangladesh Chhatra League leaders and activists attacked a rally of Chhatra Odhikar Parishad organised on the third death anniversary of BUET student Abrar Fahad who was beaten to death by some BCL men.
Chhatra Odhikar Parishad organised the programme at Raju Sculpture area in Dhaka University on Friday. The clash ensued as the BCL men obstructed the programme. At one point the BCL men beat up the Chhatra Odhikar Parishad men and chased them.
Chhatra Odhikar Parishad said 13 of their activists were injured in the attack. Some BCL men were also injured in the clash.
Witnesses said Chhatra Odhikar Parishad organised the programme under the banner of Abrar Fahad Smriti Sangsad. At around 3:20pm, some BCL men led by central committee’s private university affairs secretary Al-Amin Rahman, human resource development secretary Nahid Hasan and drama and debate affairs secretary Faisal Mahmud went to the venue and asked the Chhatra Odhikar Parishad leaders to hold the programme with attendance of only Dhaka University students and not allowing outsiders in the rally. This ensued a verbal spat between the BCL leaders and Odhikar Parishad’s DU unit president Akhter Hossain and secretary Akram Hossain. The BCL leaders at one point left the place.
When the Odhikar Parishad leaders started their speeches at around 3:30pm, some more BCL leaders came to the venue again. BCL central committee’s joint secretary Mahbub Khan, organising secretary Nazim Uddin, employment affairs secretary Rony Muhammad, private university affairs secretary Al-Amin Rahman, human resource development secretary Nahid Hasan, deputy office secretary Mirazul Islam Khan, DU unit joint secretary Rafiqul Islam were seen at that time. The BCL leaders engaged in altercation with Odhikar Parishad leaders again. During the speech of the Parishad’s central president Bin Yamin Mollah, the both sides entered into fresh altercation. The parishad’s leaders then heard chanting slogans like “Demolish the den of goons”.
More BCL men from nearby places joined in and attacked the rally with sticks and iron pipes. Some vandalised the chairs while some chased the Odhikar Parishad men away. Jagannath Hall canteen’s employee Shakil Mia was also seen vandalising chairs along with BCL men. The BCL men later chased the Odhikar Parishad men towards Shahbagh. Zahurul Haque Hall BCL’s president Kamal Uddin and secretary Rubel Hossain led the chase. Both parties pelted stones at each other. Later BCL leaders led by deputy office secretary Rahim Sarker torched the banners and festoons of the Odhikar Parishad.
Odhikar Parishad’s central president Bin Yamin Mollah said at least 13 of their activists were injured. Bin Yamin said he and DU unit secretary Akram Hossain were injured too. The parishad’s central vice president Shakil Ahmed, joint secretary Nazmul Hasan and publicity secretary Rasel Ahmed were among others injured. The injured persons were admitted to Dhaka Medical College Hospital.
Bin Yamin said they did not delivered any incendiary speeches.
Gana Odhikar Parishad’s joint convener Abu Hanif said police detained at least 15 leaders including DU unit president Akhtar from DMCH.
Meanwhile BCL sources claimed that several leaders including organising secretary Nazim Uddin were injured during the clash.
BCL leader Mahbub Khan, who was present during the clash, told journalists, “Only the students of DU have the right to hold political programmes on the campus. But none of them were students of the university. We asked the proctorial team of the campus to check their card sto ensure their identity. At that very moment they created chaos, chanted provocative slogans and attacked the students who protested the presence of outsiders at their programme. We did not attack them as we don’t believe in such politics. Dhaka University has driven out fundamentalism from the campus for good.”
BCL DU unit president Saddam Hossain told Prothom Alo that the organisation named Chhatra Odhikar Parishad has become a safe haven and rehabilitation centre of Chhatra Shibir. They always try to destabilise the environment of progressive politics on the campus.
He said some students have thwarted them today but there was BCL organisational involvement with today’s incident.
Saddam added those who went there today went as general students of DU.
BUET student Abrar Fahad was beaten to death in Sher-e-Bangla Hall on 6 October, 2019. Abrar’s father filed a case with Chawkbazar police station accusing 25 students of BUET who were involved with BCL politics. A Dhaka court on 8 December last year sentenced 20 to death and five others to life imprisonment in the case.