Dhaka University (DU) will observe “Black Day” on Wednesday, in memory of the conflict between the university’s teachers, students and officials during the caretaker government’s regime in 2007.
Security forces personnel scuffled with three students of DU over a trivial matter at the university’s gymnasium playground on August 20, 2007. The incident sparked clashes between police and students, spreading from Dhaka University to all other educational institutions in the country.
One person was killed in Rajshahi and several hundred injured during the clashes.
A total of 59 cases were filed against 84,000 unnamed students on charges of their involvement in the violence.
Several teachers of Dhaka and Rajshahi University were also arrested and placed on remand on charges of instigating the violence.
After spending five months in prison, four Dhaka University teachers were released after being granted presidential clemency on January 22, 2008. Eight DU students were also released over several phases.
The then government also withdrew a number of cases against the teachers and students.
Here is how the events unfolded-
August 20, 2007
A football match between the public administration and mass communication & journalism departments was taking place at Dhaka University playground.
During the match, a scuffle ensued between a master’s student of the public administration department and two plainclothes security personnel over a trivial matter. All of the three were among the audience.
August 21, 2007
Following the scuffle, outraged students launched protests across the country and demanded immediate withdrawal of the army camp at the Dhaka University campus.
In the face of countrywide movements, the government apologised to students for the incident and heeded the demand.
August 22, 2007
Authorities had enforced an indefinite curfew in Dhaka and five other cities.
The government closed down universities and colleges in all metropolises, forcing students to vacate their dormitories immediately in the evening.
The curfew was lifted a few days later, but public universities in six cities remained closed for about two months.
August 23, 2007
Security forces forcibly vacated the Dhaka University dorms.