Political Violence of Chatra League: A Chronology

Issue, National

by Hadi ul Kalam

SobiAfter the national election in 2008, student wing of present ruling party Bangladesh Chattra League (BCL) became too much furious in different campuses and outside of the campuses. Their violence was unbridled in almost all tertiary educational institutions. Hall dominance, campus capture, intra BCL clashes, tender politics and in other crimes they were so active and visible for last five years.
According to table 80 teachers were under attack of BCL gang while 23 VC, principals & vice principals of different education institution were harassed by BCL. 156 journalists and 142 women & female students were beleaguered. Development works of 80 educational institutions were halted due to subscription demand.

During the last five years BCL did rampant violence in different education institutions. They keep trying to maintain dominance of different education institutions resulting violence is escalating in different institutions. Interestingly, intra-party (within BCL itself) campus clashes have been reported more than interparty clashes. Dominance over hall, managing tender, and corruptions among other issues were the main factors to fuel campus violence.  As a result, during this present government tenure up to June 2012, more than 500 incidences of campus violence in different institutions occurred through direct and indirect involvement of Chatra League in which hundreds of people were killed leaving thousands injured including student, teacher and other people.
As table shows there were 187 massive clashes took place in different campuses which left 1711 and 20 students injured and killed respectively.

For example, Al Amin, an activist of the Magura district unit Chatra League, was killed in a clash between two factions of the organization on December 26, 2011 over distribution of food after an Awami League meeting. Abidur Rahman, a third-year dental surgery student of Chittagong Medical College who is a college unit Chatra Dal activist, was killed by the college unit Chatra League activist on October 22, 2011. BCL Rangpur district unit former joint secretary Masud Rana died in a factional clash on September 2, 2011 at Alamnagar in Rangpur city after a conflict over share of some money made from a Power Development Board tender. On February 12, 2011, Dhaka Cantonment thana unit Chatra League president Faruk Hossain was killed on the premises of Adarsha Bidya Niketan at Manikdi in Dhaka in an infighting centering on extortion and drug peddling. On July 12, 2010, rivals killed BCL activist Udayendu Singha, a third-year student of mathematics at Sylhet MC College. Narail sadar unit BCL president Amirul Islam Apu was killed by a rival group of the organization on March 20, 2010. Eight days later, on March 28, Harunur Rashid Kaiser, a student of marketing at Chittagong University, was found dead near Bara dighirpar in the port city while AAM Mohiuddin Masum, a final-year student of political science at the university, was hacked to death at the Sholashahar railway station a month and a half earlier on February 11, 2010. Chittagong University unit Chatra Shibir leaders claimed that the both were their activists and termed the murders to be of political in nature, holding the Chatra League responsible for the killings. On February 3, 2010, Abu Bakar Siddique, a third-year student of Islamic history at Dhaka University, died in Dhaka Medical College Hospital from the injuries he sustained in a clash between two BCL factions centering on supremacy in the Sir F Rahman Hall the night before. On January 7, 2010, a BCL group of activists killed Rajshahi Polytechnic Institute unit Chatra Maitree vice-president Rezanur Chowdhury Sunny, six days before another BCL group in Khulna allegedly killed JCD leader Raihanul Islam Rabbi, a student of the Khulna Government City College. On March 31, 2009, Dhaka Medical College unit BCL general secretary Abul Kalam Asad Rajib was killed in an infighting over extortion. Earlier on March 13, the Rajshahi University unit Chatra Shibir secretary was killed in a clash with BCL activists on the campus. BCL activists of Dewanganj Madrassah in Jamalpur were also blamed for slaying Hafej Ramzan Ali, a Chatra Shibir activist of the same institution.
– Normal student of different institutions were not safe from BCL for last five years periods. A Chittagong university student named Abul Hasanat has to jump from a dormitory building to escape from BCL activists in 26th May 2012.
– Abul Hasanat is a student of international relations department of CU and the former general secretary of CU Mirasarai Students’ Association. BCL chased him because he did not agree to give money from his organizations while he was a general secretary. Not only student even street vendor were also not safe from BCL during this time. A group of BCL activist of Dhaka University beat up a Fuska vendor and damaged his stall near TSC of Dhaka University in 1st April 2012 for his denial to pay toll money to BCL activists. Seriously injured Akash, 24, was rushed to Dhaka Medical Collage after that incidence.
– Three students of BCL have beaten a senior student of BUET named Tousif Ahmed Eshan, student of the computer science and technology department in 1st January 2012. This incidence has erupted agitation throughout the campus immediate after the incidence. University authority had to close the University for this matter.
– A group of Bangladesh Chatra League activists including 10 BCL activists severely beat a student of Rajshahi University in 29th December 2011.
– A general student of Rajshahi University has severely been beaten up by BCL activists in 29th December 2011.
– BCL men also involved along with tender business, admission business, money extortion business and sex business. Clash has been erupted between BCL and contractors in three districts while BCL were trying to snatch tender boxes and documents left nine people injured.
– Sex crime of BCL leaders has been got new dimension after 2008 election. National dailies have been published news report after the scandal of Eden Women College. Senior Chatra League leaders of Eden College, with the collaboration of the College Principal, regularly send their juniors to the houses of male leaders, sometimes to hotels, to ‘please’ them at night.
– On 31st December 2012, Chatra League activists beat up a senior student of BUET which sparked a three-day student protest
– In 5 June 2012 BCL activists severely beat KUET student as he protested against the poor food served. This incidence later sparkled throughout the campus and at least 25 people have been injured due to this incidence.
– BCL activists harassed several teachers in different public universities of Bangladesh during last five years. At least 20 teachers of the Bangladesh Agricultural University were wounded when a group of Chatra League activists attacked them on August 8, 2011. The Chittagong University proctor, Mohammad Akhtar Hossain, and assistant proctors Mohammad Monjur Morshed, Mohammad Moinul Islam, and Shipak Krishna Devnath on August 1, 2011 submitted their resignation in protest at their harassment by groups of Chatra League activists. They, however, withdrew the resignation letters later, after a meeting with the university authorities. On August 13, 2011, BCL activists foiled a teacher’s recruitment test at SD Degree College at Kotchandpur of Jhenaidah. The BCL activists also beat up the principal, Amal Kumar Ghosh. Chatra League activists ransacked the office of Chittagong University Alaol Hall provost, Hossain Kabir, on February 18, 2011 centering on seat distribution. On May 22, 2011, BCL activists attacked a chemistry teacher of the Government Bangla College at Mirpur in the capital during an admission test.
– In Dinajpur Government College, Chatra League leaders has confined their principal and 15 teachers inside the principal’s room for collage academic council’s refusal to admit some students on political consideration in 15th March 2009

Campus violence has become a dangerous phenomenon in educational institutions of Bangladesh for last 20-30 years but intensity and frequency of campus violence has been increased in a larger extent during present regime of government. Almost all the public universities faces different sort of violence more than five or six times in last three years. In almost all incidences of violence BCL had great contribution. Their greed, suppressing mentality and non-democratic attitudes has made campus a hostile place rather than making a favorable place for better education. Political commitment is also another important issue for campus violence. Political leaders or political parties do not want the removal of politically backed student politics. Therefore campus violence is sustaining over the years because of political support.

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