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Saturday, November 22, 2014, Agrahayan 8, 1421, Muharram 28, 1436 Hijr

BCL conflict blamed for campus unrest
Anaet Shawon
Publish Date : 2014-11-22,  Publish Time : 00:00,  View Count : 14
Unrest followed by infighting of mainly Bangladesh Chaatra League, the student wing of the Awami League, continues in a number of public universities and medical colleges.
Classes and examinations also remained suspended at those universities.
Violence mostly led by or forced upon BCL has now become a common phenomenon in major public universities in the country including Dhaka, Chittagong, Kushtia, Rajshahi, Sylhet and Jahangir Nagar universities.
Smaller campuses are no different and ofetn turn tense when fighting involves BCL and student wings of BNP and Jamaat-e-Islami, sources in universities said.
Since January this year, about 80 incidents of campus violence took place in different universities with direct and indirect involvement of BCL. These claimed some valuable lives of students and left dozens of students seriously injured, police officials said.
The battle between BCL rivals at Shahjalal University of Science & Technology (SUST) on Thursday was the latest incident of the kind involving the pro-government student group that claimed one life and left scores injured.
The deceased came from a private university to fight the opponents along with his associates in SUST as violence spread over the campus, SUST officials and police said.
However, BCL President Badiuzzaman Shohag denied the involvement of any BCL member in the clash, identifying the responsible as outsiders.
A clash between two factions of the BCL has left at least 10 people injured at the Dinajpur Medical College. An internal feud over the formation of the medical college's BCL unit committee led to the conflict on November 18. The college academic council, in an emergency meeting, prohibited all student-related political activities on the campus.
Academic activities at Chittagong University (CU) were suspended on November 10, 2014 following a factional feud of Bangladesh Chhatra League, campus unit.  
Jessore University of Science and Technology (JUST) remained closed following the BCL internal feuds. President Subrata Biswas, the main accused in Riad murder case, was arrested from the campus on November 18, 2014.
At least 30 BCL activists were injured when they had an hour-long clash with police at Islamic University on August 25 this year. The IU authorities closed the university in the wake of the violence until September 8, and asked all students to vacate the dorms.
In this connections central of BCL body, which was outdated a year ago, often expels leaders and activists accused of killing, abduction, infighting or extortion, but such 'punitive' actions have proved to be nothing but stunt as the offenders return to the organisation with 'promotion'.  In many cases, the expelled leaders are elevated to higher positions in the BCL.
According to BCL insiders, about 400 leaders and activists were expelled from the organisation in the tenure of the existing committee within last three years and four months for infighting, acting as hired goons, extortion, alleged involvement in killing, abduction and other crimes.
The central BCL also suspended committees at least at six universities and in eight districts during the period. Chhatra League central committee, however, said that it takes action against leaders and activists for 'anti-organisational' and 'undesirable' activities.
Meanwhile, the expired central BCL body has completed only 60 councils in last three years and four months tenure among its 101 units. So the chain of command fell apart in those units, a Joint General Secretary on the condition of anonymity told The Daily Observer.

Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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