Can the Chhatra League not be reined

The leaders and activists of Kabi Kazi Nazrul Islam University unit of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) tortured a second year student, Walid Nihad, of the Department of Public Administration and Governance Studies. They have threatened students that they must join BCL if they want to continue study in the university. Otherwise they have to suffer the same fate as Abrar of BUET.

Abrar Fahad, a student of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) was killed by BCL leaders and activists on 7 October, 2019. The court sentenced 20 BCL leaders and activists to death for the murder. In another incident, authorities permanently expelled four BCL leaders and activists in connection with the death of a teacher at Khulna University of Engineering and Technology. Both incidents caused stir in the educational institutions and beyond. Despite this, the leaders and activists of Chhatra League do not seem to have changed much.

Not only in these three universities, in almost every public university, the leaders and activists of Chhatra League carry out violence. It goes without saying that there is almost no other organisation besides Chhatra League in these educational institutions. Even after that, threatening to join Chhatra League has shown their political bankruptcy.

Media reports say when Walid Nihad went to meet one of his friends at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Hall at around 1.30am on Sunday, the BCL leaders and activists called him to room no. 324 and pressured him to join the BCL.

They slapped and punched him when he refused to do as he was said. The student fell ill. After beating him, the BCL leaders and activists made him hold a sharp weapon and forced him to say ‘BNP will come to power in the parliamentary elections to be held in 2023, ... Awami League will not be able to stay in the country and such things.’ They recorded it and spread the video clip on Facebook.

No doubt that the leaders and activists of Chhatra League have staged this drama to cover up their crimes. Through this they have committed two crimes. First, beating and threatening to kill a fellow student. Second, spreading a fake video online so that no one can blame them. Anyone can sue the victim based on the video.

This was not the first violence of BCL men at Kabi Nazrul University. In the last three years, they have harassed at least 50 students. They also misbehaved with the provost of Dolonchapa Hall. University authorities formed an investigation committee headed by proctor, but no case was filed. The victim is undergoing treatment at the hospital. But why did the university authorities not file any case?

Authorities will have to take strict action against those who have beaten and threatened to kill their classmates. They should be arrested immediately and brought to justice. We know the perpetrators get apprehensive if the crime is tried and the miscreants are punished. But the assailants under the umbrella of Chhatra League are so reckless that even punishment cannot stop them from committing crimes. How will the Chhatra League leadership avoid its responsibility?