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Chhatra League's full-scale attack on quota reformists continues

  • Published at 01:21 am July 3rd, 2018
  • Last updated at 01:26 am July 3rd, 2018
Quota reform activists under assault at DU on MondayDhaka Tribune

In the last three days, Chhatra League activists launched several brutal attacks on protesters and foiled their scheduled programs in public universities across the country

The ruling party affiliated student organization Bangladesh Chhatra League appears to have launched a full-scale attack on the quota reform movement across the country.

In the last three days, Chhatra League activists launched several brutal attacks on protesters and foiled their scheduled programs in public universities across the country.

The reform activists are seeking immediate publication of the government's promised gazette abolishing the quota system in public jobs.

Chhatra League leadership has been denying that they are involved in the attacks, saying instead that general students have prevented chaos in the campus, or that the reformists were fighting among themselves.

“The incidents took place due to internal clash over leadership among the reformists. Chhatra League has no involvement in this,” said SM Jakir Hossain, general secretary of Chhatra League central committee. 

“Besides, most of the miscreants are not students. They are outsiders who are trying to create chaos in the campus. Chhatra League leaders and activists are preventing them only to ensure an education friendly environment in the universities,” he told the Dhaka Tribune.

Dhaka University Chhatra League men on Monday launched repeated attacks on the quota reform activists, as they staged demos protesting the ongoing attacks and seeking the release of their leaders detained by law enforcement agencies. 

According to eyewitnesses, the university Chhatra League leaders and activists along with outsiders rampaged in the Shaheed Minar area where the protestors were organizing to have the demonstration around 10:45am. 

On Sunday police arrested Md Rashed Khan, a leader of the quota reform protest, from his residence in Dhaka.

He was detained from Bhashantek area in a case filed under section 57 of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Act filed by a central Chhatra League leader with the Shahbagh Police Station. 

On the same day, Chhatra League men beat up several reform activists in the DU campus and handed them over to police.

The first attack was launched on Saturday when Chhatra League men foiled a scheduled press briefing of the reform activists at DU. At least seven protestors were injured.

Similar incidents also took place across the country, including Jahangirnagar, Rajshahi, and Chittagong Universities and the Shahjalal University of Science and Technology in the last few days.

The protesting students say Chhatra League men are beating up quota reformists and threatening them across the country.  

General Secretary Jakir said: “Chhatra League is dedicated to protecting the general students’ rights. When someone tries to make trouble in a campus, it is a duty for all conscious students, regardless of political affiliation, to thwart them.” 

“Those who stopped the miscreants may have been Chhatra League members, but that does not mean the organization itself is involved in these incidents,” he added.

The Chhatra League secretary also urged all quarters to keep patience since Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has given her assurance for quota reform.