At least 20 people were injured on Friday in a brawl between Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) activists and students of New Government Degree College in Rahjshahi.
Among the injured were a teacher of the college and a female student of the Rajshahi University of Science and Technology.
The brawl reportedly broke out as Ayman Sadiq, the founder and chief executive officer of Youtube channel “10 Minute School”, was addressing a prize-giving ceremony for the college’s annual debate competition.
He had also organized a workshop at the college attended by around 4,000 students from different educational institutions in the district.
According to eyewitnesses, some 20 to 25 activists of the college unit of BCL, the student wing of Awami League, began chanting slogans demanding punishment of Abu Sayeed, a philosophy teacher at the college who they alleged routed the Chhatra League men out of the program venue.
At one point of the program, the Chhatra League activists – led allegedly by the unit’s general secretary, Baitul Hossain Tarun – resorted to attacking the program’s participants.
[caption id="attachment_256178" align="aligncenter" width="800"]
Activists and leaders of Bangladesh Chhatra League vandalized flowerpots during a brawl at New Government Degree College in Rahjshahi on Friday Abdullah Al Dulal/Dhaka Tribune
They also vandalized furniture, flowerpots and rubbish bins in a corridor in front of the principal’s office, and tore down two banners with photos of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Afterwards, the agitated Chhatra League men started searching for Ayman, who had taken shelter in Principal Jarjis Kadir’s office to escape the brawl. Witnesses said Kadir tried his utmost to dissuade the attackers, but they did not heed his calls.
They also threatened to carry out further vandalism unless Sayeed was not brought to book within their stipulated time.
After bringing the situation under control, police rescued Ayman - who along with another Bangladeshi youth, recently made this year’s Forbes 30 under 30 list for Asia - and escorted him to Rajshahi University.
The BCL unit’s president, Mainul Islam Bappi, said some “overzealous activists of the organization” were involved in the incident, for which he held Sayeed responsible.
Officer-in-Charge of Rajpara police station, Hafizur Rahman, said he would look into the incident upon receipt of a complaint from the college authorities.
Meanwhile, the Rajshahi city chapter of Bangladesh Chhatra Maitree condemned the attack and demanded punitive measures be taken against those involved.