They were protesting the detention of leaders of the ongoing quota reform movement
Eminent writer and columnist Prof Rahnuma Ahmed and leftist leader Baki Billah were detained from a protest rally at Press Club on Tuesday and released soon after.
The two activists joined a demonstration organized by concerned guardians and civil society members condemning the ongoing attacks and arrests on quota reform activists, and the authorities’ silence on the issue.
Sources said that the hundreds of people crowded in front of the National Press Club around 4pm. Police began to drive away the protesters and a number of scuffles took place between them.
“During the scuffles, suddenly policemen detained former Students’ Union leader Baki Billah, also an organizer of the event and took him into the prison van. Prof Rahnuma also got in the van in protest,” said lawyer Hasnat Quaiyum, an organizer of the platform.
Dhaka University Professor Fahmidul Haq had also jumped into the van. He was able to get down moments before it drove away from the scene.
“The prison van left the spot, taking Prof Rahnuma and Baki Billah,” Hasnat Quaiyum told the Dhaka Tribune.
However, the two were immediately released as the news of the detainment spread.
Shahbgah police Officer-in-Charge Abul Hasan said they picked up Baki Billah and released him within minutes.
“The police released us on bond 40 minutes after the capture,” Prof Rahnuma told journalists.
According to police, the scheduled program was foiled since the organizers did not have permission.
The agitating guardians and concerned citizens said they had also been assaulted by the police.