30 teachers hurt in BCL attack

A Chhatra League activist is banging on the door of the teachers’ lounge at Islamic University in Kushtia around 3:00am yesterday. Taken by surprise, inset, some teachers hold up their belongings while some try to hide under the table. 

At least 30 teachers of Islamic University sustained injuries when a group of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) activists attacked a meeting of the teachers on the campus at Shantidanga, 24 kilometres off the town, yesterday.

The teachers have been agitating for immediate removal of IU treasurer Shahjahan Ali, sacking of officials loyal to immediate past VC and pro-VC and probe into the November 19 attack on a teachers’ sit-in by some BCL men.

On September 8 last year, the teachers went on work abstention demanding removal of the VC, pro-VC and treasurer over the alleged irregularities in the recruitment of 132 teachers, employees and staff against 76 posts. Since then the academic activities at the university remained suspended.

The authorities concerned relieved vice-chancellor Prof M Alauddin and pro-vice chancellor Prof M Kamal Uddin of their duties, while the treasurer remained unchanged.

A group of students under the banner of “General Students” blocked Kushtia-Khulna highway for at least five hours since yesterday morning, demanding immediate resumption of academic activities.

Witnesses said a group of BCL men with a large number of outsiders yesterday started demonstration before the administrative building protesting the teachers’ prolonged agitation.

Around 1:30pm, some teachers of “Shapla Forum”, known as supporters of the former VC and pro-VC, met newly appointed VC Prof Abdul Hakim Sarkar and asked him to talk to the demonstrating BCL men.

Talking with the BCL members, the VC assured them of solving the ongoing crisis and asked them to stop their agitation.

But the activists of the pro-Awami League student body led by BCL IU unit president Jahangir Alam went to the IUTA office around 3:00pm and assaulted the teachers with iron rods and bamboo sticks when some 100 teachers were in a meeting, with IUTA president Prof Nozibul Haq in the chair.

The BCL activists then chased the teachers out of the office and kept it under lock and key, forcing the teachers to take refuge at the Teachers’ Lounge. But the attackers again assaulted the teachers there.

Forced by the BCL men, the IUTA president went to Kushtia-Khulna highway and made an announcement before the agitating general students that the teachers have stopped their agitation.

Following the announcement, the general students withdrew the blockade around 4:00pm.

Talking to The Daily Star, Prof Nozibul said, “I was forced to go there and make the announcement as they [BCL men] warned me of dire consequences.”

BCL president Jahangir Alam, however, denied his organisation’s involvement in the attack on teachers. He claimed that it was an act of the agitating general students.

Leaders of IUTA complained that they sought VC’s help when the BCL men attacked them, but to no avail. “We sought VC’s help but he did not take any step to save us,” said Prof Iqbal Hossain, general secretary of IUTA.

Asked about his role, the VC said BCL’s attack is unacceptable. “I am trying to negotiate with the teachers to meet their demands,” he added.

Source: The Daily Star

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