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DU authorities helpless against Chhatra League

However, the acting proctor’s request was also ignored by the leaders of the ruling party’s student wing

As Dhaka University students and Brotee activists faced-off at the Central Shaheed Minar yesterday, the university administration failed utterly in their attempt to negotiate with the students and mediate a solution.

Despite the presence of the DU acting proctor and his deputy, the agitated students carried on their demonstration – which was being staged without any permission from university authorities.

Acting proctor Amzad Ali and Assistant Proctor Abdur Rahman arrived at the Shaheed Minar after being phoned by activists of Brotee – who did secure permission to stage a programme on the Shaheed Minar platform to protest an attack on photographer Imtiaz Alam Beg and his two nieces.

After arriving there, Amzad directed the students to leave the place within 10 minutes as they did not have the permission to stage demonstrations at the Shaheed Minar. However, his order was ignored by the students who continued to chant slogans against the Brotee activists.

Heated arguments ensued between Amzad and the students, while at one point, the proctor became infuriated and grabbed two students by their collars for using abusive words.

With repeated efforts to remove the students ending in failure, the proctor finally phoned and asked DU Chhatra League President Mehedi Hasan and Shahidullah Hall Chhatra League unit President Aminul Islam to come to the spot and convince the students to leave.

However, the acting proctor’s request was also ignored by the leaders of the ruling party’s student wing.

During the entire ordeal, Brotee activists repeatedly pointed out to Amzad that they had the proper permission to stage demonstrations at the Shaheed Minar, which the students did not have. Replying to their calls, the acting proctor also repeatedly assured them that they would be allowed to stage protests on the platform.

However, as the sun continued to set in the west, Brotee activists were forced to stage a brief rally beyond the Shaheed Minar perimeters, as the DU students and the DU acting proctor watched from the platform.

Asked why the DU students ignored his directives, Amzad said: “The victims termed the Dhaka University students as criminals in their banner, which hurt the sentiment of students. That is why they refused to go back.”

He added that the victims were wrong to stage a protest rally at a time when the university authority was taking appropriate action against the accused.

“Already we have suspended the [responsible] students and stern action will be taken after final investigation. So, I think such type of programme during the investigation could influence the final report,” Amzad added.

The acting proctor also claimed that the victims had instigated DU general students through Facebook statuses, in which some information was fabricated.

He further claimed that although Brotee had secured permission to stage a programme on behalf of 12 organisations, they had not mentioned the NGO’s name in their banner during yesterday’s programme.

Asked about yesterday’s incident, the DU vice-chancellor refused to comment, but claimed that his sources told him that the victims had staged their programme peacefully.

Four students suspended

Dhaka University authorities yesterday suspended four activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League for their alleged involvement in the brutal attack on Beg and his two nieces.

The suspended Chhatra League members are Faruk of botany department, Masum of physics department, Jinat of statistics department and Jahir of mathematics department. They are all first-year students and residents of Shaidullah Hall.

DU VC AAMS Arefin Siddique signed the suspension letter against the four identified attackers.

Acting proctor Amzad told the Dhaka Tribune: “The university authorities have identified the Chhatra League members with the help of the Shahidullah Hall administration and the hall unit Chhatra League on Friday.

“The VC signed their suspension letter today [Monday] as he was out the university for two days,” he added.

Earlier, the victims of the attack had filed a case with the Shahbagh police station in this connection, accusing four unnamed persons.

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