The protesting students claimed some of their fellows got injured as police charged batons to disperse them
Police have dispersed the medical and dental college students who blocked the Shahbagh intersection in Dhaka to press home their four-point demands.
The protesting students claimed that some of their fellows got injured as police charged batons to disperse them.
The injured were taken to nearby hospitals, they said.
Shahbagh police station Officer-in-Charge (OC) Mamun-or-Rashid denied any incident of baton-charging.
Several hundred students, under the banner of "Public and private medical students" gathered at Shahbagh on Sunday morning and held demonstrations to realize their demands, blocking the busy thoroughfare, which caused severe traffic gridlock in the area and adjacent roads.
Their demands include scrapping of professional examinations amid Covid-19 pandemic, completion of courses in time to avoid session jam, not charging tuition fees for more than 60 months in private medicals, and considering the health risks of students on priority basis.
The demonstrators took to the streets around 11am and police removed them around 1:30pm from the intersection to bring the traffic movement to normal.
OC Mamun-or-Rashid told Dhaka Tribune: "We had to force them to leave the intersection to ease the vehicular movement as Shahbagh is one of the busiest areas in the city. Severe traffic gridlock occurred since the beginning of the blockade.
"We just chased them towards the Dhaka University campus while they hurled brickbats at the law enforcers. No incident of baton-charging happened."
An organizer of the demonstrations, Asib Khan, a fourth year student of Army Medical College Bogra, said police baton-charged the demonstrators unjustly and harassed some of them including the women.
"As many as 15 to 20 demonstrators have been injured in the incident," he claimed.
Asib further said: “When we met Dhaka University Medicine Faculty Dean Dr Shahriar Nabi on Thursday, he told us to meet him again today [Sunday]. He said he was willing to meet our demands.
“But when we met him today, he told us to come again tomorrow [Monday]. He is just stalling,” he added.
Despite repeated attempts, Dhaka Tribune could not reach Dr Shahriar over the phone.
There are 65 medical and dental colleges affiliated with Dhaka University’s Medicine Faculty — 15 public and 41 private medical colleges, and one public and eight private dental colleges.
Earlier, medical and dental college students blocked Shahbagh and Mohakhali crossings on November 1 and November 3 to realize their demands.