‘Abhishek physically assaulted me when I went to have breakfast at a shop near Shahid Rafiq Jabbar Hall’
A general diary has been filed against a Chhatra League man who allegedly assaulted Nurul Islam Saimum, the organizer of the protests against corruption at the Jahangirnagar University (JU) campus that began last month.
JU Chief Security Officer Shudipta Shahin filed the general diary accusing Jahangirnagar Chhatra League Organizing Secretary Abhishek Mandal of assaulting Saimum, who is also general secretary of Jahangirnagar Theatre.
Ashulia police station OC Sheikh Rezaul Hoque Dipu confirmed the incident and said: "No case was filed in this regard. We are investigating the incident."
According to eye-witnesses, Saimum was physically assaulted by Abhishek around 10am on Saturday.
"Abhishek physically assaulted me when I went to have breakfast at a shop near Shahid Rafiq Jabbar Hall," said Saimum, a student of the 44th batch of Environmental Science Department.
Abhishek, from the 41st batch of Government and Politics Department, said: "I was injured in the scuffle as well. The incident occurred because Saimum was acting insolently."
The university authorities have decided to expel Abhishek from his residential hall.
For the last three days, a group of students and teachers, under the banner "Jahangirnagar against Corruption" have been protesting in front of the JU administrative buildings against alleged corruption by the Vice-Chancellor Prof Farzana Islam regarding a Tk1,445 crore project.
The protestors have demanded planned development and for the formation of a judicial probe committee to look into allegations of corruption and irregularities.
On Thursday, after the vice-chancellor asked the demonstrators to sit for a discussion, they agreed meet on Friday morning, on the condition that their demands would be heard with integrity.
Around 11am Friday, the vice-chancellor went to the new administrative building, where the protestors had started to gather.
When she started her meeting with the protestors, they immediately demanded that action be taken against Abhishek.
They also demanded action against another Chhatra League man who had allegedly beaten up a first-year student of Al-Beruni Hall on August 27.
They refused to participate in any further discussions unless their demands were met, which prompted the authorities to take swift action.
Jahangirnagar Chhatra Union General Secretary Ariful Islam Anik – also a protestor – said: "We want to root out the practice of using muscle power in our campus, but the university authorities have been reluctant to do this for a long time."
Allegations against JU VC
The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) approved Tk1,445 crore for the development of Jahangirnagar University on October 23 last year.
On May 1 this year, in the first phase of the project, the university administration called for tenders for the construction of six residential halls. The cost of constructing these halls was estimated to be around Tk400 crore.
However, there was outrage on August 25, when news spread that JU VC Prof Farzana Islam was involved in corruption and had been accused of distributing around Tk2 crore among three factions of the JU Chhatra League unit from the project fund.
Students and teachers of the university, which is renowned for its green campus, were also protesting the government-approved development project as 1,150 trees would need to be cut to implement it.
Prof Rayhan said: "If the allegations are proven to be true, the accused must be brought to justice and the project has to be adjusted to meet all the requirements of the master plan."