THE vice-president of the Dhaka University Central Students’ Union, Nurul Huq Nur — who was attacked on Sunday by the ruling Awami League’s student wing Chhatra League, aided by Muktijuddha Mancha composed of Chhatra League activists, when he was holding a meeting in the DUCSU office with students of the University of Dhaka and other educational institutions — filed a complaint with the police on Tuesday evening, accusing 37 ruling party-backed student leaders as he says that the first information report of the case that the police filed earlier Tuesday has not stated the fact. At least 40 of the students holding meeting in the DUCSU office are reported to have been severely wounded in the head, chest and eyes, with some continuously vomiting, and cared for in Dhaka Medical College Hospital. This is for the ninth time the DUCSU vice-president has been attacked since his election in March — this time for being critical of autocratic government action and the last time for publicly criticising India’s Hindutvavadi authoritarianism — and this is the second attack on student rights campaigners in a week.
Nurul Huq, other victims and witnesses say that the police in the first information report of their case have stated their own narrative, which does not match what actually happened. The victims say that the police report has no mention of the indifference that the proctor showed. The victims say that when some of them sought the intervention of the proctor, who was standing in front of his office, barely a hundred yards off the DUCSU building, he asked them to leave the place immediately and said that he would, otherwise, hand them over to the police. The police report claims that the clash took place after an altercation of the victims with Muktijuddha Mancha activists in front of the DUCSU building, both the groups pelted each other with stones and the Muktijuddha Mancha people entered the office after the vice-president and his fellows had so done and, then, the Muktijuddha Mancha activists vandalised the office. The victims say that the Muktijuddha Mancha activists attacked them as soon as they reached the DUCSU office and the activists along with Chhatra League activists attacked the vice-president and his fellows when they were inside the office. They also say that when they were inside the office, the ruling party student leaders pelted the vice-president’s office with stones. The police are also blamed for having dropped the names of prime perpetrators. Such a mismatch is indicative enough of what the police do in, probably hundreds of thousands, other cases.
All this suggests that the police may have been eager enough to save the skin of the perpetrators and the face of the ruling party-backed student organisations. The victims say that the police filed the first information report as a ploy to deflect the protests that emerged after the attack. The police, however, seek to say that they would send the copies of both the complaints to court for an investigation. But such a proposition does not constitute a logical step in justice dispensation. The police must, therefore, learn to behave and the government must make the police behave.
Want stories like this in your inbox?
Sign up to exclusive daily email
More Stories from Editorial