Is Chhatra League above the law?

EditorialProthom Alo illustration

Chhatra League leaders-activists are not taking into consideration wither their parent organisation Awami League’s advice or the central leadership’s warnings.

They are continuously committing criminal activities at educational institutions. Nobody, whether leaders and activists of different student organisations, journalists or general students, are spared from their wrath.

It’s learnt from a Prothom Alo report that two students of Chittagong Medical College (CMC), who had been the victim of CMC Chhatra League unit’s ‘torture’, have been admitted to the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU). Those two students are Jahid Hossain alias Wakil and Shakib Hossain.

It’s alleged that Chhatra League leaders-activists tortured them at the main hostel of CMC from Wednesday night till Thursday evening on suspicion of them being associated with Chhatrashibir.

At the same time two more students named SA Rayhan and Mobassir Hossain were tortured and sent home. All of them are fourth year medical students.

According to CMC sources, some Chhatra League leaders-activists called those four students out of their respective rooms in the hostel on Wednesday night. Later, they were taken to another room and tortured there.

They were injured in different parts of their bodies. They were told to go home on Thursday evening. Rayhan and Mobassir went home. But things took a turn when Jahid and Shakib went to CMC seeking treatment.

Regarding the accusation, CMC Chhatra League leader Abhijit Das told journalists, “They (those four students) are involved with Shibir. They kept running those activities secretly. They were just interrogated not beaten.”

If they weren’t beaten, then why did they have to get admitted in the ICU? If these four students had committed anything illegal, the responsibility of taking legal steps relied with the law and order enforcement agencies; not Chhatra League.

There are two active factions of CMC Chhatra League. Apart from the followers of Mohibul, there’s another active group at CMC that follows former city mayor AJM Nasir Uddin. CMC was announced closed following a clash between two groups of Chhatra League on 30 October, 2021. A student named Mahadi J Akib among Mohibul’s followers was seriously injured in the clash then.

The description of Chhatra League’s torture a student has given to Prothom Alo, reminds of BUET’s Abrar Fahad indeed. They have been severely beaten up with stamps, sticks and tyre pipes.

Notably, Chhatra League leaders and activists beat Abrar to death on 7 February of 2019, centring a post shared on Facebook. In the trial, 20 Chhatra League leaders-activists were given death penalty while five others received a life sentence.

Why does Chhatra League turning potential physicians and engineers into criminals and possible murderers? No matter how powerful an organisation Chhatra League is, no one has the right to take the law into their own hands.

The incident of Chittagong Medical College bears proof that Chhatra League’s criminal activities hasn’t decreased even after the tragic incident at BUET. Just a few days back, a female journalist was harassed in the hands of Chhatra League members at Chittagong University.

Despite there being many serial attacks and driving students out of the residential halls at Dhaka and Rajshahi universities, the offenders have seldom been punished. Let those who have assaulted the four students at CMC be immediately arrested and brought to justice.