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Wednesday, November 12, 2014, Kartik 28, 1421, Muharram 18, 1436 Hijr

Clashes put CU academic life at stake
BCL rivals? rowdyism shuts down the university again: 22,000 students face uncertainty
Publish Date : 2014-11-12,  Publish Time : 00:00,  View Count : 12
Nurul Amin
CHITTAGONG, Nov11: Frequent clashes between rival factions of Bangladesh Chhatra League(BCL) and troubles often created by Islami Chhatra Shibir on Chittagong University campus have put the academic life of 22,000 students at stake.
BCL is the student front of the ruling Awami League and the Shibir is the student body of Jamaat-e-Islami.
Although classes resumed on November 9, academic activities again came to a halt as the two BCL rivals clashed on the campus.  
The student unrest began since August 31 following a strike called by the Shibir protesting the closure of Shibir-dominated Suhrawardy Hall from where the police recovered several hand bombs and weapons on August 24. The police raid was followed by a clash between Shibir and BCL on the campus on the day.
The student strike was called on the campus under the banner of 'Residential Hall Students.'
Besides, on January 12, CU authorities shut down the Shah Amanat Residential Hall after two students died in a clash that also took place between Shibir and BCL activists.
On September 1, miscreants hurled handmade bombs from a field at Choudhuryhaat targeting a shuttle train heading for the university. A CU teachers' bus was also damaged on September 4 in the port city's Pahartali area.
On September 11, two buses of the teachers also came under bomb attack of the miscreants resulting in the injuries to 12 teachers.
The Shibir activists under the banner of Residential Hall Students continued its strike until October 31, disrupting academic activities. They called off the strike on November 1 for the conduct of entry test at the university.
Meanwhile, a BCL activist was injured when his rival group numbering about 8 attacked him on the  varsity campus on Sunday.
Protesting the attack, a group of BCL activists put barricade in Nandirhat and Sholashahar area, causing suspension of shuttle train for two hours on Monday.
According to CU sources, a number of BCL activists are divided into several groups over the control of shuttle train bogies.
One Mintu Chowdhury, a student of Computer Science and Engineering Department, sought police protection during his examinations held on Sunday.
Mintu sat for the examinations under police protection. But the opponent group attacked him when he came out of the hall at about 2 pm. Sensing arrival of the police, the attackers fled the spot. Protesting the attack on Mintu, a group of BCL activists demonstrated in Sholashahar area at 5 pm.
On Monday, a faction of BCL blocked the movement of the shuttle train, resulting in the suspension of all classes.
They besieged the Sholasharar Station area in the morning, halting campus-bound shuttle trains. They also blocked city bus stops used by university teachers and students.
The students of the university have become fed up with the campus unrest that stemmed from repeated clashes of the BCL factions.
Lives of both teachers and students are also at risk on the campus due to violent clashes time and again.
But the CU authorities, according to guardians, have completely failed to control the situation. The situation has made academic life of 22,000 students uncertain.
When contacted, Sirajuddowla, Proctor of the university, told The Daily Observer that the authorities had taken steps to check clashes.
He said that a meeting of the CU authorities, police administration, student organisations and the political parties will be held very soon to resolve the problem. He also observed that the political parties should come forward in this regard.
The CU proctor disclosed that punishment had been meted out to more than 40 students during the last two years for damaging academic atmosphere on the campus. He said that Shibir activists are creating unrest on the campus under the banner of general students.
He also said that the police administration had been playing a positive role in maintaining law and order on the campus. But it is clear that academic atmosphere has been deteriorating day by day.
Talking to The Daily Observer, Amina Islam, a Master's final year student of Communication and Journalism Department said,"We are facing manifold problems including session jam due to student unrest on the campus.'

Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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