BAU closed after boy killed in BCL infighting
Villagers set fire to halls, univ unit Chhatra League dissolvedStaff Correspondent
Authorities closed the Bangladesh Agricultural University in Mymensingh on Saturday for an indefinite period after a 12-year-old boy was killed in crossfire during Chhatra League factional clashes, which prompted villagers to set fire to three halls and attack two more halls of the university.
The clashes between two factions of the university unit Chhatra League loyal to the unit’s president Shamsuddin Al Azad and the general secretary Rafiquzzaman Iman over establishing supremacy broke out in the Jabbar crossing on the campus about 1:00pmon Saturday. The factions had clashed with breaks between them over the issue since Thursday.
Villagers set fire three of the five halls and vandalised others as the report of the boy, Rabbi, being killed in the crossfire during the infighting spread. At least 30 rooms of the halls were attacked, witnesses said.
A tin-shed portion of the Ishakha Hall building was burnt down, students said.
The central committee of the Chhatra League later in the evening dissolved the university unit committee of the organisation, the Chhatra League’s general secretary Siddiqui Nazmul Alam said.
After the authorities had closed the university, they asked male students to vacate the halls by 6:00pm on Saturday and female students by 8:00am on Sunday.
Witnesses said that the Chhatra League factions fired guns during the clash that continued for about an hour. They also used sharp weapons.
As the clashes began, Rabbi, a madrassah student of Baira near the campus, went to the campus to bring back his grandmother who were tending her cattle in the place.
Rabbi got shot in the forehead during the gunfight. He was sent to Mymensingh Medical College Hospital where he died about 3:45pm, Professor Shah Alam of Mymensingh Medical College Hospital said.
The Kotwali police officer-in-charge, Fazlul Karim, told New Age that a minor boy was killed in the clash on the campus. No case was filed in connection with the killing till 7:30pm.
At least 25 Chhatra League activists were injured in the clash. Three of them were injured with bullets.
As the news of Rabbi’s death spread, about 500 villagers attacked five halls of the university — Ishakha Hall, Shaheed Jamal Hossain Hall, Fazlul Haque Hall, Hossein Shahid Suhrawardy Hall and Shahjalal Hall, the proctor Sazzad Hossain said.
General students said that the villagers had set fire to three halls and vandalised at least 30 hall rooms. A tin-shed portion of the Ishakha Hall was burnt. Fire fighters later controlled the fire.
Local people also rallied on the campus in protest at the boy being killed during the gunfight.
The university unit Chhatra League’s president and general secretary blamed each other for the clashes.
A large number of police and Rapid Action Battalion personnel have been deployed on the campus to fend off further troubles, the police officer-in-charge said.
In view of the campus situation, the authorities sat at an emergency meeting of dean’s council and closed the university for an indefinite period, the registrar Najibur Rahman told New Age.
The Chhatra League president Badiuzzaman Sohag and the general secretary Siqqiqui Nazmul Alam in a press statement in Dhaka said that they had dissolved the organisation’s unit at the university.
They also expelled the unit’s president Shamsuddin Al Azad and general Secretary Rafiquzzaman Iman from the organisation after the incident.
Chhatra League activists are frequently engaged in clashes and attacking opponents on the campus. Chhatra League activists attacked Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal in which at least 15 were injured on November 10, 2012.
At least 50 students were injured on the campus when Chhatra League attacked activists of the Progressive Students Alliance, a combine of leftist student organisations, on October 9, 2012.
Left-leaning students were holding protests at an increase in admission fee to Tk 6,214 from Tk 1,825 for the 2012–13 session.
At least 20 teachers of the Bangladesh Agricultural University were injured when Chhatra League activists attacked them on August 8, 2011. The then proctor, Abu Hadi Noor Ali, came under attack after he had handed over to the police two students held on suspicion of being involved in mugging in the botanical garden of the university.
Chhatra League activists have a chaos in educational institutions again putting students’ academic life in jeopardy. The atrocities left at least 50 injured at the Islamic University when Chhatra League activists fired into Chhatra Dal activists ‘snatching a police weapon’ on Friday.
At least 50 teachers of the Islamic University in Kushtia, six teachers and some students of Begum Rokeya University in Rangpur, and three teachers and scores of students of the Tejgaon Polytechnic Institute were injured in a series of attacks by BCL activists, in the first half of January.
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Date:Sunday, 20th January, 2013
Date:Sunday, 20th January, 2013