Shibir, BCL men clash openly with lethal arms

Shibir, BCL men clash openly with lethal arms

Clashes between the activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) and Islami Chhatra Shibir over a trifling matter overnight left at least 40 students injured in Dhaka Polytechnic Institute yesterday.

Male students had to leave hostels by 5:00pm following orders from the authorities. Hundreds of them had to put up with huge inconvenience for having to vacate dormitories at short notice.

A large contingent of police remains deployed to stop escalation of violence on the campus at Tejgaon.

Despite the tension, the authorities have decided to go on with classes and examinations. A three-member committee was formed to probe the incidents.

During the fight that began the previous night and continued intermittently till 1:30pm, workers of both BCL and Shibir, the student wings of Awami League and Jamaat-e-Islami, damaged over 10 classrooms and at least 50 dorm rooms, said witnesses.

shibir_rajakar_999299395.jpgWhen a first-year student involved in Shibir politics sat on one of the chairs set aside for the second-year students in the dining room of Latif Hostel at 8:30pm Saturday, Chhatra League activists gave him a beating.

In the fallout, a group of Shibir men attacked BCL leader Shahin’s room at around 11:00pm, leaving him seriously injured. Shortly afterwards, BCL activists damaged at least four rooms belonging to Shibir activists. The situation came under control after police took position inside the halls and students went to sleep.

Early in the morning yesterday, around 400 workers of BCL gathered in front of Latif Hostel. They brought out procession on the campus, vandalised vehicles plying the Tongi Diversion Road. They also blockaded the road in front of the institute for over half an hour.

Brandishing knives, machetes, and hockey sticks, Shibir and BCL men chased and counter-chased each other for hours. In presence of law enforcers, they beat up their rivals and damaged their rooms.

Of the injured, 30 are Shibir activists while 10 BCL. Six of those wounded were undergoing treatment at Dhaka Medical College Hospital.

The melee caused panic among the general students who locked themselves in the rooms.

Shibir men had to be taken out of the campus under police escort as the Chhatra League workers were waiting outside.

Shamsul Alam, principal of the institute, said, “The hostels except the one for female students have been vacated, but the institute will remain open and classes, examinations and official activities will continue.”

Talking to The Daily Star, he said, “The hostels would be sealed off till things return to normal.”

He advised students to stay at relatives’ houses during the period.

As of 8:00pm, no case was filed and none was arrested in this connection, said officials at Tejgaon Industrial Area Police Station.

Students at the university in Old Dhaka yesterday clashed with police during demonstrations for the campus to be rid of outsiders.

Sources said the fighting that left at least three including a photojournalist injured broke out at around at 11:30am when police resisted those protesting the non-students occupying the dormitories.

During the hour-long clash, protesters threw projectiles at the law enforcers who resorted to baton-charge.

News and link posted by Anim Anamika | Original News source The Daily Star | Article photo courtesy Jaijaidin

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