Rajshahi University: When will the BCL’s audacity end?

While some public university provost hand over resident students to the police on baseless charges, the teachers, students and parents of students in Rajshahi University have been continuing their demonstration demanding justice. They deserve appreciations and praise for this.

Earlier, they also protested against the expulsion of resident students from various dormitories of Rajshahi University. Such protest is not much witnessed in other universities.

We have been noticing that the leaders and activists of the ruling party's student organisation, Bangladesh Chhatra League, is indulged in various criminal activities in various universities and colleges of the country. Attacking the leaders and activists of opposition student organisations, torturing and extorting general students have become their 'routine task'.

According to Prothom Alo report, a fourth year student, Samsul Islam, of the department of economics was tortured in a hall room of Rajshahi University for three hours on 19 August. Samsul lodged a complaint against Bhaskar Saha, general secretary of Motihar Hall wing Chhatra League and a fourth-year student of the institute of education and research, at the student advisor and proctor's office that night. Later that night, the authorities formed a three-member investigation committee.

In the complaint, Samsul said that BCL leader Bhaskar Saha threatened him saying he would face the same consequence as Abrar if he dared to tell anyone about this incident. The Chhatra League leader not only forcibly took money from the said student, but also beat him with iron rod and stump along with two cohorts. And threatened that he would face the same fate as Abrar if he informed the administration. Abrar Fahad, a student of BUET, was killed by the BCL leaders and activists on the campus.

The culprits were punished in that incident. However, how can the Chhatra League leader of Rajshahi University show such arrogance? University authorities have formed an inquiry committee. But how many days it takes to investigate into such incidents? When the leader of the Chhatra League publicly threatened that the student would face the same fate like Abrar, general students naturally will be worried about their safety. Legal action should be taken against this Chhatra League leader for the sake of students' safety.

The leaders and activists of the BCL kicked out the resident students of Rajshahi University a few months earlier. Later, at the intervention of the administration, they were able to return to the dorms, but they are still in fear.

Not only in Rajshahi University, but in many higher educational institutions, Chhatra League leaders and activists have been committing disgraceful crimes. Recently, a BCL leader of Eden College threatened a female student in the residence hall saying, “If I do not allot seats, which of your fathers will do?” The college administration is not known to have taken any any action against this Chhatra League leader.

It is very unfortunate that the leaders and activists of Chhatra League have taken the law into their own hands and continued to do so in almost every public university and college. They are causing various violent incidents in the educational institutions. But the administration of many educational institutions like Eden College chose to turn a blind eye. We believe it is necessary to take stern action against them to bring back the minimum conducive environment for education in the educational institutions.