Leaders of Bangladesh Chhatra League's Rajshahi University (RU) unit assaulted a journalist for taking photos while they were vandalising a bus on Monday.
The victim, Arafat Rahman, campus correspondent of the Daily Star and a second-year student of mass communication and journalism in the university, is undergoing treatment at Rajshahi Medical College Hospital (RMCH).
Arafat's colleague Kaikobad Khan said: “He was initially taken to the university's medical centre, but later he was shifted to the RMCH as the condition of his right eye deteriorated.”
The incident took place in front of the main gate of RU campus around 11am on Monday.
According to witnesses, The Chhatra League leaders and activists were vandalising a bus of Desh Travels. As Arafat was taking photos of the act, RU Chhatra League Vice-President Ahmed Sajib, Organising Secretary Abid Hasan Labon and Law Secretary Saiful Islam Bijoy noticed it.
They charged at Arafat and had an altercation with him. At one point of the argument, they started beating him.
[caption id="attachment_73862" align="aligncenter" width="881"]
RU Chhatra League leaders vandalise a bus of Desh Travels a heated argument between one of the leaders and the bus supervisor over smoking in the bus on July 10, 2017 Dhaka Tribune
The Chhatra League leaders vandalised the bus because of an argument between one of the leaders and the bus supervisor.
Desh Travels’ Rajshahi district in-charge Masud Rana told the Dhaka Tribune that RU Chhatra League Law Secretary Bijoy was on board the Rajshahi-bound bus coming from Chittagong.
“The Chhatra League leader had a heated argument with the bus supervisor when the latter asked him not to light a cigarette inside the bus. An angry Bijoy then called up other leaders to take position in front of the university gate on Dhaka-Rajshahi highway,” Rana added.
“They stopped the bus as it was passing by the university and attacked it.”
Leaders of the local journalist community protested the assault and demanded appropriate punishment for the attackers.
In a statement, the Rajshahi University Journalists' Association said: "The attack on Arafat is an attack on the press media. We condemn this attack and demand that the perpetrators are brought to justice."
RU Reporters' Unity and RU Press Club issued similar statements.
The RU unit of Chhatra League expelled Law Secretary Saiful Islam Bijoy and Information and Research Secretary Mahmudur Rahman Kanon in connection with this incident, Chhatra League President Saifur Rahman Sohag confirmed around 10pm on Monday.
"They were expelled for assaulting a journalist and not following the organsation's code of conduct," he told the Dhaka Tribune.