August 21, 2007

Trouble at Dhaka University

The problem started around 3.30 pm yesterday when a petty dispute broke out concerning comments passed by an armed forces personnel during a soccer match on the university gymnasium ground where an army camp is situated. The Daily Star reports:
The soccer match was between the departments of public administration and journalism. During a penalty shoot Mehedi Mohammad, a student of the public administration department stood up in front of a group of army personnel, obscuring their view.

Army members allegedly abused him verbally and asked him to move before beginning to beat Mehedi and his friends.

Mehedi along with Shafiq and Lucas all MSS students of public administration, and Dipu, a third year student of the same department, were taken to DMCH for treatment.

As Mubashsher Munayem, a teacher of public administration tried to stop the incident, the army personnel humiliated him too.

In protest, students demonstrated against the army action, demanding an apology and removal of the army camp from the campus. In response police baton charged the students injuring five or six of them.

By early evening, news of the events had spread, triggering a few thousand more students to pour onto the streets in protest.
Another version of the story says that the armed forces verbally abused some ladies also.

Then it got worse. The University area turned a battle zone in the evening with intermittent fights between police and students and over 100 students got injured.
Police vehicles including water cannons were patrolling the campus streets at the time, firing tear gas canisters and hot water at the demonstrators.

Students took positions inside dormitories including Bangabandhu Hall, Zia Hall, Surya Sen Hall, Jashimuddin Hall, Zohurul Haq Hall, Muhsin Hall, Shahidulla Hall and other places and pelted police with stones and brickbats. They put tires and other things on fire at places to save themselves from the tear gas.

Police beat up Acting Vice-chancellor (VC) Prof AFM Yusuf Haider, Proctor AKA Firoz Ahmed, Prof Haider's personal assistant Shahjahan Howlader, and other DU employees in the Central Shaheed Minar area.
The battle is continuing still at 4 am night; Raha, a Bangladeshi blogger updates. There are rumors all around that a student of Public Administration department died (but yet to be confirmed).

Shada Kalo is sarcastic over this incident:
While our olive and cammo-wearing generals are hobnobbing with the caretaker government and holding seminars at Dhaka University on how the military can get along with the rest of the population, we have soldiers beating up DU students over an altercation.
There are also claims that media carried out this news with low importance.

The students have called for an indefinite strike and a gathering tomorrow at "Aparajeo Bangla" premises defying state of emergency. It remains to be seen how the authorities handle this.

International media on this news:

Other Blogs covering the news:


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