BCL clashes: Why are CU authorities not taking any action 

Prothom Alo illustration

On Saturday, Prothom Alo published pictures of three students of Chattogram University carrying knives, clearly indicating their intent to attack opponents with these local weapons. This incident portrays an episode of 'infighting' between two factions of the Chhatra League at Chattogram University. While these three individuals have been identified, many others involved remain unaccounted for.  

Chattogram University houses two factions of the Chhatra League, with the first faction having nine sub-factions and the second having two. The clash last Thursday involved two groups from these factions. One of the groups, known as "Choose Friends with Care" (CFC), aligns with Deputy Education Minister Mohibul Hasan Chowdhury. The other group, "Sixty Nine," is known to be followers of former Chattogram city mayor AJM Nasir. 

In May and June, clashes between the two factions of the Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) resulted in injuries to as many as 16 individuals, prompting the filing of two cases related to the incidents. The conflict reignited on Thursday during discussions regarding the withdrawal of these cases.

Since the Awami League came to power in 2009, there have been numerous clashes between the two sides of the Chhatra League at Chattogram University. Tragically, a member lost their life in a clash in 2014. However, the university administration has not taken action against any party involved. 

The pertinent question arises: why do individuals who come to the university to pursue higher education engage in such violent confrontations? They not only employ local weapons but have also been witnessed attacking opponents with firearms on multiple occasions.

Additionally, a few days ago, following a shuttle train accident that left several students injured, the university premises were vandalised in the guise of a protest, allegedly involving leaders and activists from both factions of the Chhatra League. 

Alarmingly, the university administration remains mysteriously silent regarding these incidents. While they have taken some superficial measures under pressure from teachers and general students, these actions have failed to bring peace to the campus or halt the violent activities of the controversial Chhatra League faction.

The situation has escalated to the point where Khorshed Alam, the vice-president of Chattogram City Awami League, felt the need to contact Saddam Hossain, the central president of the Central Chhatra League, urging action concerning the Chhatra League at CU. 

The pressing question is, why was the central president informed over telephone? Does he not know about the ongoing situation and the violent activities carried out by the Chhatra League in Chattogram University. Furthermore, why does an Awami League leader believe that their duty is fulfilled by merely informing the Chhatra League president over the phone?

At the heart of the dispute within Chattogram University Chhatra League lie two influential leaders from Chattogram's Awami League. It is perplexing why the vice-president of the city Awami League is not attempting to mediate the dispute by arranging a discussion between these two leaders. Once the fish head begins to rot, there's no use in trying to cure the tail.  

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Following any incident, the university administration claims to be conducting investigations and taking necessary actions, but ultimately ends up shielding the actual culprits. Even after graduating, many leaders and members of the Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) persist in engaging in terrorist activities from the university dormitories. The administration's lenient approach towards these Chhatra League leaders is fostering a sense of insecurity among the regular students.  

It is unequivocally the responsibility of the university administration to uphold peace and maintain a conducive learning environment on campus. The authorities cannot afford to be indifferent toward those disrupting peace and causing successive violent incidents. Conducting thorough investigations is imperative, and stringent actions must be taken against those found responsible for these violent activities. If necessary, they should be handed over to the police. 

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