'Even though the attackers are known, the Jagannath University administration or police are yet to take any action against them'
Students rallying for reformation of the quota system in government jobs on Sunday protested the attack on Md Sohel Islam, a Jagannath University (JnU) student and an organizer of the movement, and demanded exemplary punishment of his attackers.
They made the demands at a press briefing in front of emergency department of Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) in the afternoon.
Sohel was severely injured in an alleged attack by some JnU unit activists of the Bangladesh Chhatra League, the Awami League's students wing, on May 23 on JnU campus in broad daylight.
Addressing the briefing , Bangladesh Sadharan Chhatra Adhikar Sangrakkhan Parishad Joint Convener Rashed Khan said the attack would not have happened if Shahbagh police had recorded the general diary when the top leaders of their movement received death threats from Chhatra League leaders earlier.
He said: “Even though the attackers are known, the Jagannath University administration or police are yet to take any action against them.”
Rashed also threatened to take to the streets again if Sohel's attackers were not arrested immediately.
At the press conference, Sohel said: “During the attack, the Chhatra League activists beat me with metal rods and left me with serious injuries to my face, legs and other parts of my body."
“Looking at some photos on Facebook, I have identified at least two of the attackers, one from the JnU's Statistics department named Menun Mahfuj and the other from the Psychology Department named Alim Babu,” he said.
Demanding justice for her son, Sohel’s mother Jamila Begum sought Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s intervention in the matter.
Meanwhile, Hasan Al Mamun, convener of the students' platform, on Sunday reiterated that they would resume their movement if the government does not publish the gazette notification reforming or scrapping the quota system soon.
The students had taken to the streets in mid-February and continued their movement demanding a drop in quota in government jobs to 10% from the existing 56%.
However, the protests intensified from April 8 onwards following clashes between the demonstrators, police and Chhatra League supporters.
In the face of nationwide protests, the prime minister several days later announced in parliament that the quota system would be scrapped.
The demonstrators called off their protests following her announcement and since been demanding immediate publication of the gazette notification in this regard.