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Dhaka Tribune

Police bar students from besieging Home Ministry

Update : 20 May 2015, 08:09 PM

Scuffles broke out between police and students in the capital when the latter were marching towards the Home Ministry to besiege it in protest at the sluggish probe into the Pohela Boishakh sexual assaults on Dhaka University campus.

This came after police attacked Bangladesh Chhatra Union members who organised a march on May 10 and were heading towards Dhaka Metropolitan Police headquarters seeking assurance from the DMP commissioner that the assaulters would be arrested. 

A policeman was suspended in this connection and two committees are still probing police action on demonstrators.

Around 11:45am yesterday, several hundred protesters under the banner of Pragatishil Chhatra Jote marched from Aparajeyo Bangla of Dhaka University and broke through police barricades at Doyel Chattar.

But there were no casualties, according to witnesses.

“Demonstrators were intercepted by police again in front of High Court Mazar area and did not allow them to proceed, triggering scuffles,” said Snehadri Chakrabarty, secretary of Samajtantrik Chhatra Front.

Students later held a rally there for nearly half an hour and condemned police action to obstruct them.

Leaders of pro-left organisations, including Bangladesh Chhatra Union and Samajtantrik Chhatra Front, at the rally blamed police inaction for little progress in the investigation into April 14 sexual assaults, mentioning that no assaulter had yet been arrested.

They said police were not diligently investigating the case and even attacking students who were holding demonstrations.

They ended the rally, threatening that they would besiege the Prime Minister’s Office if no progress was made.

Asking not to be named, a senior police official said the Secretariat is a highly protected area and protests could not be allowed in front of it. 

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