Tuesday, January 3, 2012

BCL men 'attack' JnU demonstrators

Activists of Jagannath University unit of pro-government Bangladesh Chhatra League allegedly attacked a procession of Progotishil Chhatra Jote on Tuesday.

The students had been demonstrating against a decision to charge first-year undergraduate students Tk 5,000 in development fee during admission.

"Chhatra League launched the attack in an attempt to foil our demonstration," Chhatra Front president Shariful Chowdhury told

At least six students, including himself, have been injured in the attack, he said.

The other injured are Chhatra Front organising secretary Morshed Khan, and members of the Front, 'Azad', 'Titli', 'Mishu' and Chhatra Federation activist 'Sania'.

Shariful alleged that the ruling Awami League's student front activists also harassed Chhatra Front member 'Titli'.

According to reports, activists of Progotishil Chhatra Jote –a platform of Chhatra Front, Chhatra Federation, Chhatra Moitri and Chhatra Union – started gathering in front of the university's bank from around 10am to stop first-year admission procedure. After police were deployed about half an hour later, the situation cooled down.

Around 12:30pm, Chhatra League supporters took out their own procession and tried to drive away leaders and supporters of Chhatro Jote demonstrating near the bank. They attacked them when they failed to do so, eye-witnesses said.

Jagannath College was upgraded to university during the tenure of BNP-led four-party alliance in 2005. Then an article [Article 27 (4)] was kept in the Jagannath University Act-2005, according to which the public university has to fund operations on its own after five years.

In September last year, students took to the streets against the university's decision to increase various fees. Later, the prime minister announced that the government will continue funding the university.

Progotishil Chhatra Jote leaders say the university authorities are planning to impose full education costs on the students. The admission fee has risen to Tk 17,000 after years of increase and many poor but deserving students are missing out on the opportunity of studying here

Representatives of Progotishil Chhatra Jote had submitted a memorandum to the vice chancellor in this regard on Dec 11.