Friday, July 19, 2024

DU students on rampage after transport workers kill fellow

Dhaka University students on Sunday rampaged through the campus after a group of transport workers had beaten to death one of their fellows at Motijheel in Dhaka.
The students vandalised at least 70 vehicles, set a bus on fire and clashed with lawmen in the Shahbagh and the Nilkhet crossing during violent protests that continued for two hours and a half beginning about 11:00am, witnesses and the police said.
The protests triggered severe tailback on the roads passing by the university campus.
Mohammad Redwan, 25, a master’s student of Arabic and resident of the Sir AF Rahman Hall, became critically wounded as workers of the Himalaya Paribahan beat him at Motijheel over a brawl centring on picking up passengers into a university on Saturday evening, fellows said.
DU student Mobarak Hossain, who witnessed the incident, told New Age that 22 students of the Arabic department were returning to campus from a picnic on Saturday afternoon in a double-decker BRTC bus hired by the university.
As the bus reached Madanpur on its way back to the campus, the driver of the bus Isa Khan and his assistant picked up a brawl with the workers of the Himalaya Paribahan over picking up passengers from in front of the Himalaya Paribahan ticket counter.
Himalaya Paribahan workers assaulted some of the students as they went to the rescue of the driver and his assistant.
On reaching Dhaka, the students called in their fellows from the halls and they went to Motijheel to protest at the assault by transport workers, witnesses said.
At one point during the altercation with transport workers at the Himalaya Paribahan ticket counter at Motijheel, the transports workers beat Redwan, Jishan and Munir with iron rods, about 7:30pm on Saturday, leaving them critically wounded.
Witnesses said that some policemen were standing as spectators when the transport workers were beating the students.
The police later sent the critically injured Redwan to Dhaka Medical College Hospital. He was later moved to Anwar Khan Medical College Hospital where he died about 2:00am Sunday.
On hearing the news, the university authorities took Redwan’s body to the BIRDEM mortuary in the morning.
Zahirul Islam Jishan, 23, a third-year Arabic student, who was also critically wounded, was first taken to the DMCH and was later shifted to Combined Military Hospital on Sunday afternoon.
As the news of Redwan’s death reached the university campus, general students went on violent demonstrations damaging vehicles at Shahbagh and Nilkhet and clashing with the police, witnesses said.
They had also set fire to a bus of the ETC Transport Limited before the police fired teargas shells and charged at them with truncheons at Shahbagh. At least five were injured at the time.
The students then reorganised at Nilkhet and pelted the lawmen who fired teargas shells with stones.
The students later damaged the DU proctor’s office and shattered the window panes of the rooms of the nearby sociology department.
The leaders and activists of the Awami League-backed Chhatra League tried to intimidate the protestors, threatening them with dire consequences if they did not stop demonstrating, witnesses said.
The police arrested Rahmatullah, a second-year Islamic history student, at Shahbagh during the clashes.
Redwan’s younger brother Mohammad Reaz, who was carried the body to their village home in Jhalakathi, alleged that the transport workers had killed his brother in a planned way as he had protested at the assault on some his friends.
Reaz said that Redwan’s body had wounds in the thigh as marks of torture with iron rods.
He alleged that the transport workers had killed his brother and tried to say that it was death caused by a road accident.
‘His death has dashed the hopes of our family. We sent him to this university with hopes for good days in future but now we are carrying him dead home,’ Reaz, a second-year student of Brajamohan College, said.
He also said that the university teachers had asked them to take the body to village home without taking it in the campus.
‘Some senior teachers said if the body is taken to the campus, it may spark off violence,’ Reaz said.
‘We demand an impartial investigation and trial of the killers,’ said Md Bahauddin, Redwan’s uncle who received the body from the university authorities.
Redwan was the third among three sons and a daughter of businessman Mohammad Alauddin, of Palashpur at Amanatganj in the Barisal district headquarters. Redwan was also an activist of the Chhatra League, the family said.
The university proctor, KM Saiful Islam, told New Age that no post-mortem examination was conducted on the body as wished by the family.
He also said that an investigation committee would be instituted after a meeting of the university syndicate. ‘The syndicate will decide the filing of a case in connection with the death,’ he said.
Mohammad Rafiqul Islam, students’ adviser of the Arabic department, said that the proctor and the pro-vice-chancellor had sent the body to his village home without holding a namaz-e-janaza on the campus.
‘The proctor on Saturday night said that the body would be taken to the campus for viewing but he changed his decision without any consulting with the teachers of the Arabic department,’ he said.
The Shahbagh police officer-in-charge, Rezaul Karim, told New Age that they were making preparations to file a case in connection with vandalism and setting fire to a vehicle by the students on the campus.
He said that Redwan had been killed in a road accident.
Redwan was, meanwhile, buried in their family graveyard at Angaria of Rajapur in Jhalakati about 7:00pm after his namaz-e-janaza at Amanatganj in Barisal.

 

Courtesy of New Age

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