Naripokkho, an organization of women’s rights activists, has demanded punishment of leaders and activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League, who reportedly assaulted Dhaka University students on January 15.
The organization in a statement on Wednesday also urged the DU authorities to take measures to prevent the recurrence of such incidents on the campus.
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"Although we do not support all the demands the students made during a demonstration on that day, this gruesome attack on them can never be acceptable,” the statement reads.
On January 15, leaders and activists of the pro-Awami League student body reportedly attacked the demonstrators and harassed some female students of the university, while they were staging a sit-in on the campus demanding cancellation of the affiliation of seven colleges with DU and withdrawal of a case filed against some students of the university.
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On January 23, when a group of DU students, including leftist students' leaders, besieged Vice Chancellor Prof Akhtaruzzaman, protesting the January 15 attack and demanding punishment of the attackers, the Chhatra League men again swung into action to “rescue” him.
At least 30 students were hurt in the second incident. With severe injuries, 10 of them were admitted to Dhaka Medical College Hospital and DU Medical Centre.
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Soon after the January 23 incident, a faction of Chhatra League told the media that VC Akhtaruzzaman had called in them to rescue him, while another faction said they rushed in to “save” him on information from his office.
However, slamming Akhtaruzzaman for “seeking assistance” from the Chhatra League, Naripokkho said the VC had now become reliant on the ruling party’s student front to stay in his post.
“… this is a shame not only for the administration and teachers of the university, but also for all educational institutions across the country,” it said in the statement.