Ruling party’s unbridled students’ wing

The Daily Star  July 05, 2019

Ruling party’s unbridled students’ wing

Why can’t they be reined in?

It is an incontrovertible fact that most of the incidents of student clashes in the colleges and public universities in the last decade have been between BCL factions, most often with very serious outcome. In the absence of effective presence of student wings of other political parties, most of these clashes were instigated mainly by the desire among various factions of BCL to control the turf in the campus, vitiating the atmosphere. But their wayward activities have not remained confined within the campus. They acquired a feeling of impunity even more when they were used as virtually an auxiliary to the police on several occasions. We have been exhorting the ruling party in this very column to prevail on its student wing to exercise restraint, apparently with no avail. On the contrary, they have gone about in their errant ways with complete impunity.

The latest Chhatra League factional fight occurred in Jahangirnagar University on July 2 where some of its members were seen wielding dangerous weapons while chasing their rivals. That clash, originating from a very trifle matter, resulted in the injury to at least 60, by some reports 80 people, including several teachers and policemen.

We would like to once again appeal to the central leadership of the Awami League to come down strongly on its student wing whose activities have sullied the name of the party. It has been in power for the last 10 years and will be so for the next five, the election controversy notwithstanding. We wonder why the unruly elements of the BCL cannot be reined in. Admittedly, these elements come in handy during elections, but since there are no electoral challenges for the next five years, they should be restrained from violence and intra-party clashes and made to concentrate on more productive engagements.