Eden mohila college: BCL president assaulted by rival faction

Photo: Collected

The president of Eden Mohila College Chhatra League was assaulted by some of its leaders during a press conference on the college premises yesterday.

She was declared “unwanted” over allegations of seat-trading, extortion and torture.

Eyewitnesses said college unit President Tamanna Jasmine Riva and some of her followers held a press conference in the evening.  As they were replying to questions about the allegations, some leaders and activists of the same unit were chanting slogans against her and the unit’s General Secretary Razia Sultana.

In a late-night development, the BCL Central Committee suspended all activities of the Eden College BCL unit until further notice. It issued a statement in this regard.

Earlier at the press conference, Riva said the allegations against her came up because many did not get the posts they expected in the committee, which was announced in May. “Since then, they have been trying to conspire against the top leaders.”

At one point, some of the activists confined those holding the press conference, and a clash ensued.

Riva and her followers were punched and hit with chairs.

At least 10 people, including Riva, were injured in the clash. They were all sent to different hospitals in the capital for treatment.

Earlier at noon, a group of Chhatra League leaders — led by 25 leaders of the existing committee — held a press conference, in which they brought forth some serious allegations against the president and the GS.

The allegations include blackmailing students into doing unethical work, hall seat trade, extortion, and torture.

“If the BCL central committee doesn’t take organisational action against them, we all will resign,” said Marzia Urmi, vice president of the committee.

She also demanded justice for Jannatul Ferdowsi — another vice-president who was attacked by the rival BCL activists in the presence of Riva and Razia on Saturday night.

The BCL central committee formed a two-member probe committee with Vice President Tilottama Sikder and Joint Secretary Benjir Hossain Nishi regarding that incident.

However, 25 leaders declared Riva and Razia “unwanted”, saying the central committee was biased towards those two.

Marzia said Jannatul had spoken to the media several times about the unethical activities by the president and the secretary. “That is why she was tortured that night.”

The college BCL unit has been mired in controversy and intra-party feud since the announcement of the committee on May 13.

The committee later held meetings to discuss different issues, including a leaked phone conversation of Riva threatening students to join political programmes, torturing two students after confining them for over six hours,  pouring hot tea on another.

At the anti-president press conference,  BCL leaders alleged the college administration did not sign any student document without Riva and Razia’s permission.

The Daily Star could not contact Supriya Bhattacharya, the college principal, for comments despite repeated attempts.

Tilottama Sikder, a member of the central BCL probe body, said they have started the investigation into the incident involving Jannatul.

“Meanwhile, we heard about the attack on Riva and visited the college. We talked to the authorities and heard of the allegations of seat trading, extortion and torture.”