LEADERS and activists of the Chhatra League, the student wing of the ruling Awami League, continue with their atrocities. The Awami League’s failure to restrain its student wing leaders and activists from unruly activities, as New Age reported on Saturday, continued to worry almost all quarters as Chhatra League activists attacked students standing for road safety at places in Dhaka and Chittagong on Thursday and Friday. Earlier, Chhatra League leaders and activists launched a series of attacks on and intimidation of protesters for quota reforms and even teachers in different universities since June 30 when the protesters began their latest spell of movement for reforms in public service recruitment quota. What one would find disconcerting is that most of the attacks were committed in the presence of the police, who did not protect the victims, harassed them and caused them not to dare to file cases against the attackers. Chhatra League and Juba League activists attacked protesting school and college students at Dhanmondi in Dhaka when they were checking documents of drivers and vehicles. There is no denying the fact that such atrocities remind us of oppression committed by the National Students Federation created by Abdul Monayem Khan, Ayub Khan’s favourite governor in the then East Pakistan.
In fact, the way key leaders of the ruling party, including even the prime minister who is also the organisational leader of the student wing, have so far failed to deliver on their pledges to streamline the organisation people, there are little reasons for surprise at the situation. The Chhatra League intimidated and launched a series of attacks on quota reform activists and different left-leaning student organisation activists on different campuses including, Dhaka, Jagannath, Rajshahi, Chittagong and Jahangirnagar universities. BCL activists on July 15 attacked quota reform protesters and assaulted, pushed and verbally abused a Dhaka University mass communications and journalism teacher, an international relations associate professor and an assistant professor in economics when they were going to take part in a post-human chain procession at the Central Shaheed Minar. Moreover, they have a propensity to engage in various crimes such as extortion, abduction, rent seeking, admission trade, etc, both inside and outside campuses. Against this backdrop, when public criticism against Chhatra League wrongdoings became heightened, ruling party leaders, particularly the prime minister, came up with repeated warnings that any further evil doings by Chhatra League leaders and activists would be dealt with seriously. But no such thing happens. This leniency to the Chhatra League has emboldened leaders and activists of other organisations affiliated with the ruling party to engage in internecine clashes.
It is high time that ruling party high-ups streamlined activists of the affiliated bodies so that they do not meddle with students standing for road safety and protesters for quota reforms while stringent administrative and legal actions were taken against the troublemakers.
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