A video of the incident has gone viral on Facebook
Two members of the Bangladesh Students' Union (BSU) were detained and later released for drawing anti-rape graffiti on the wall of Viqarunnisa Noon School and College in Dhaka’s Baily Road area.
Student leaders Jahar Lal Roy, BSU Dhaka city unit president, and Sadat Mahmud, the same unit’s education and research affairs secretary were reportedly physically assaulted in a scuffle with the police patrol team which detained them around 2:30am on Tuesday.
However, the two were released from police custody shortly thereafter.
Speaking to Dhaka Tribune, Nazifa Jannat, secretary of education and research affairs in BSU’s private university unit, who was also present during the incident, said: “There have been reports of several rape incidents in the last few days, especially the one allegedly committed by Chhatra League men in Sylhet.
“As part of our protest, we were drawing an anti-rape graffiti which showed a girl being strangled by a few men.”
However, at one point police came and wanted to know what we were doing.
“We told them what we were doing. They [police] told us that we could not draw the graffiti without approval and told us to stop,” said Nazifa Jannat, who filmed the video of the incident and later posted it on Facebook.
The footage shows one police official grabbing Jahar Lal Roy by the neck which led to a scuffle. The police patrol team, with the help of some other policemen, picked up the BSU leaders in their van and left.
During the scuffle, the two BSU activists were heard saying, “Don’t lay your hands on us,” to the police.
Contacted, SM Shamim, assistant commissioner of the Ramna zone of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP), said: “They were drawing something on the wall of Viqarunnisa Noon School and College. They [the BSU leaders] were asked if the school authorities knew about their initiative.
“They were released after interrogation.”
Asked if they had taken permission prior to drawing the anti-rape graffiti, Mehedi Hasan Nobel, BSU central president, said: “political parties regularly paint graffiti on walls.
“Why did this bother the police? If the school authorities had anything to say, they could have told us directly.”