Dr Fahmidul Haq says police accused him of trying to intervene with their work and alleged that he was trying to damage the prison van
A teacher of Dhaka University's (DU) Mass Communication and Journalism Department has been assaulted by policemen while staging a demonstration in Dhaka protesting the ongoing attacks and arrests on quota reform activists.
Sources said in the wake of the ongoing attacks by Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) on quota reformists and arrest of their leaders by law enforcers, concerned guardians and members of the civil society gathered in front of the National Press Club around 4pm yesterday to stage a demonstration.
However, policemen foiled the program, snatching their banner and detaining two attendees – eminent writer and columnist Prof Rahnuma Ahmed and former Bangladesh Students’ Union leader Baki Billah from the spot.
During the disturbance, DU teacher Dr Fahmidul Haq was assaulted when he protested the detention.
“When our children and our students are being beaten up and arrested, we cannot remain silent. We came here to raise our voices against the state-run oppression, but police foiled our program. They picked up two of our fellows and physically assaulted me,” DU associate professor Fahmidul said.
“When policemen took Baki Billah into a police van, Prof Rahnuma and I got into the van to talk to the officer, but they misbehaved with us and even tried to detain me. However, the protesters did not let that happen. Later, the police van left the place with the detainees,” the assaulted DU teacher told journalists.
Dr Fahmidul further said that the policemen accused him of trying to intervene with their work and alleged that he was trying to damage the prison van.
“They pulled me from the crowd, and falsely alleged that I had gone there to wreck the prison van. They told me I was committing acts of anarchy, even though holding a meeting or assembly is our constitutional right. I would like to say that by not allowing our demonstration, the police themselves have carried out activity converse to state laws,” he said.
Seeking anonymity, a police official from the Shahbagh police station said Baki Billah and Prof Rahnuma were not arrested.
“Since we were asked not to allow anyone to hold a meeting or rally here, we are doing our job. Besides, the attendees did not have any permission to hold such a meeting, so we requested them to leave,” the police official told the Dhaka Tribune.
When contacted, Abul Hasan, Officer-in-Charge (OC) at Shahbagh police station, said they released Baki Billah and Prof Rahnuma within minutes of picking them up.