University students protest attacks on quota movement leaders

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Staff Reporter: University students protest attacks on quota movement leaders

Students of different universities across the country staged demonstrations and boycotted classes on Sunday,protesting Saturday’s attacks on the activists of quota reform movement at Dhaka University allegedly by some Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) activists.

Chittagong University students boycotted their all the classes and examinations in protest against the attacks on quota protesters at Sholosahar in the city.

Anwar Hossain, convener of Chattogram unit of Bangladesh General Students’ Rights Protection Council, the student platform that led the quota reform movement, said a group of students, expressing solidarity with the central committee, took position in the city’s Sholosahar area on Saturday.

At one stage, he alleged, a faction of BCL boys launched an attack on them, leaving two of the protesters injured.

The injured –Tofail Ahmed and council co-convener Arju Mia—were given first aid.

At Rajshahi University, six quota movement activists were injured in an attack allegedly by BCL men near its central library.

Witnesses said some quota protesters gathered in front of the central library to form a human chain as part of their scheduled programme against the attack on their Council leaders at Dhaka University around 11:30 am.

At one stage, some BCL men, numbering 40-50, led by its president Golam Kibria and its general secretary Foysal Ahmed Runu, swooped on them and chased them.

They also beat up some students, forcing them to leave the place.

Morshed Alam, co-convener of the RU unit of the council, said six students were injured as the BCL men assaulted them while they were preparing to form a human chain as part of their scheduled programme in the morning.

Dismissing the allegation, BCL RU unit president Golam Kibria said they did not chase anybody.  “Those who’ve made derogatory remarks about Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and are trying to create unrest on the university campus even after assurances by the Prime Minister will not be spared,” he said. ​

In Dhaka, the Detective Branch (DB) of Police in the morning arrested Rashed Khan, joint convener of Bangladesh General Students’ Rights Protection Forum, from Bhasantek area in the city.

Rashed was shown arrested in a case filed under the Information Communication Technology (ICT) Act, said Masudur Rahman, deputy commissioner (media) of Dhaka Metropolitan Police.

BCL law affairs secretary Al Nahian Khan Joy filed the case with Shahbagh Police Station in the morning, he added.

At Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (SUST), BCL men allegedly obstructed the activists of SUST unit of the Council, to form a human chain on the campus around 11 am on Sunday.

When the Council activists were preparing to forma human chain on the campus, some BCL men swooped on them and obstructed them from staging demonstrations in front of the central library of the university, witnesses said.

The BCL men later picked SUST unit convener Nasir Hossain up from the spot and confined him to a room at Shah Paran Hall, said joint convener of SUST councilNomanKhandakar.

However, BCL SUST unit acting president Md Ruhul Amin said, “There was no gathering for staging any demonstrations. So, there’s no question to foil it.”

On Saturday, at least six leaders of the Council were injured in an attack allegedly by some BCL activists on the Dhaka University campus.

Protesting the attack, the Council called an indefinite boycott of classes and examinations in all the universities and colleges across the country from Sunday.

In April, students of public and private universities across the country waged a strong movement demanding reforms in the quota system.

In the face of the movement, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina announced in parliament on April 11 the abolition of all types of quotas in public jobs.

As no gazette notification has so far been issued regarding the abolishment of the quota system as per the PM’s declaration, the leaders of the Council gathered in front the DU central library on Saturday to hold a pre-scheduled press conference to announce their fresh programme. But, BCL activists reportedly carried out an attack on them around 10:50 am.unb

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