AN UPROAR followed a furore, both born out of wrong reasons with a gap of 40 days, giving way for the right cause for protests. And both the incidents involve leaders and activists of the Chhatra League, the student wing of the ruling Awami League. This time, two Chhatra League activists in the University of Rajshahi called a fellow student to a room of the Shaheed Shamsuzzoha Hall, and tortured for half an hour over an allegation of theft early Saturday. Sohrab Hossain, a third-year student of finance, was beaten up with iron roads and a piece of wood and was left with skull fractures and other injuries. He is reported to have been cared for in a critical condition in Rajshahi Medical College Hospital. After the theft alleged to have taken place on November 13, he was also called to the room the next day and roughed up by the Chhatra League activists. In the earlier incident, Chhatra League activists in the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology called a fellow student, Abrar Fahad, after giving him a bad name, to a room in the Sher-e-Bangla Hall on October 7 evening and beat him up with blunt objects for hours until early October 8 when he is reported to have died.
While full-scale protests that flared up after the Abrar murder have left its spillover effect, with consequent tension, still on the BUET campus, in the wake of the Rajshahi University incident, students held protests on the campus in the morning and blocked the Rajshahi–Dhaka Highway to push for demands that include an early arrest of the two Chhatra League activists and their expulsion from the university and the resignation of the hall provost for failures to ensure safety of hall residents. The victim has filed a case with the Motihar police and it is expected that the legal course should roll along without any interference. But the incident that took place in the University of Rajshahi shows that the authorities concerned have taken almost no step to stop the repeat of the incident that took place in the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology. It is disconcerting that with the Abrar murder case having already rolled into its legal course, an incident resembling that of the BUET case took place in Rajshahi. Although the Rajshahi incident could not, fortunately, result in what the Abrar case did, they both had the same strains.
While there seems to be no effective steps on part of the Awami League leadership to rein in Chhatra League leaders and activists, there have also been no effective steps on part of the university administrations, which came in a big way in conversation of the Abrar murder, to establish the Chhatra League activists who torture general students and the rooms where they are tortured. It must happen early to ensure safety on the campus.
Want stories like this in your inbox?
Sign up to exclusive daily email
More Stories from Editorial