BCL rampage in Rajshahi
12:00 AM, December 07, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 04:08 AM, December 07, 2017

BCL men assault 5 female students

Rajshahi IHT closed after violence

The Institute of Health Technology in Rajshahi has been closed for an indefinite period after Chhatra League leaders assaulted female students leaving at least five of them injured yesterday.

Of the victims, three were admitted to Rajshahi Medical College Hospital. But they left the hospital in a hurry fearing further attacks, said a number of students, requesting not to be named.

At least five women were pushed to the ground, dragged and assaulted in front of police and Principal Sirajul Islam, they added.

A group of BCL men led by Jahidul Islam, president of the institute unit of the pro-Awami League student body, attacked the women when they were going to their dorm accompanied by the principal around 11:30am, they alleged.

The principal said resident students were asked to leave their dorms by 3:00pm.

“We wanted to avoid further violence,” he told The Daily Star, refusing to comment any further.

The assault followed incidents over the last three days, where BCL men threatened the women in broad daylight with gang rape on the campus.

Students said BCL men had started intimidating women in the dormitory after they opposed BCL's proposal to form a human chain on the campus on Sunday. The women wanted to hold the programme in the city's Zero Point area.

The BCL men held the programme on the campus locking the women's dorm from outside.

In the afternoon, the BCL leaders went inside the women's dorm and threatened the resident students with gang rape. The threats of attack and rape were repeated on multiple occasions on Monday and Tuesday.

Many of the intimidated women stayed inside the dorm for two days after the incident.

Demanding security on the campus, about 100 women staged a sit-in yesterday morning.

They also submitted a complaint to the principal against several BCL leaders.

The women were attacked when they were returning to their dorm.

Sirajul said they would file a case in connection with the incident if the women agreed.

Asked, BCL President Jahidul Islam, said, “We did not attack or threaten anyone. The allegations against some of us are false.”

He added that there was a brawl over the women's denial to take part in the human chain.

Meanwhile, Rajshahi city BCL in a meeting at the AL office last night decided to request the central committee leaders to expel Jahidul and three other leaders of the institute from the student body.

The rest of the leaders to be expelled are BCL General Secretary in the institute Anwar Hossain, and Vice Presidents Faisal Ahmed and Mizanur Rahman.

The women's complaint to the principal mentioned the names of the four leaders to be expelled from the organisation.

They also decided to abolish the BCL unit in the Institute of Health Technology, Fazle Rabbi, office secretary of Rajshahi city BCL, told reporters in an email.

Amir Jafar, a deputy commissioner of Rajshahi Metropolitan Police, who visited the scene, said they would investigate the allegation that women were attacked in front of police.

Earlier this year, the institute remained shut for over a month after a brawl between rivalling groups of BCL men, teachers said.

That incident on December 28 last year took place over establishing supremacy on the campus. The institute, closed that day, reopened on February 4 with additional police deployment, the teachers added.

Cashing on the silence of the authorities, Chhatra League men have unleashed a reign of terror on the campuses of public educational institutions in Rajshahi over the last several years.

On December 23 last year, BCL and AL men stopped recruitment exams for government jobs at Rajshahi University and forced job seekers out of the campus.

A senior AL leader, wishing anonymity, said BCL men controlled all the student dormitories and often engaged in violent clashes on campuses of public educational institutions in Rajshahi.

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