Rajshahi University: BCL factions rule with violence, university administrator remains silent

Bangladesh Chhatra League declared its university unit Rajshahi after seven long years on October 21 last year.

Mostafizur Rahman Babu is the president and Asadullah Hil Galib is the general secretary of RU BCL.

Since their takeover, at least 30 violent incidents involving BCL men have been reported on campus. These incidents include factional clashes, extortion, illegal occupations of dormitory seats and attacks on journalists, opponents and students.

Despite this, the university administration has largely refrained from taking disciplinary action against the accused. According to RU sources, no meeting of the disciplinary committee took place this year.

The unrest began on October 22, when a group of BCL members, unhappy with their exclusion from the new committee, vandalized rooms in the Madar Bux Hall.

On November 26, BCL leaders attacked Rayhan Islam, UK campus correspondent for Bangladesh Protidin.

On May 7, RU BCL general secretary Galib and others locked up and tortured Nafiul Islam, a leader of the RU Chhatra Dal unit, in a room in Madar Bux Hall.

Days later, on May 11, two BCL factions led by RU unit president Babu and Suhrawardy Hall unit president Niaz Morshed clashed, leaving at least five people injured. The factions brandished local weapons in a new confrontation two days later.

In response to the May clashes, the BCL central unit suspended at least five RU BCL leaders. However, the UK authorities took no punitive action against those involved.

Additionally, between May 13 and 19, BCL activists chased at least three general students from their dormitories.

The ongoing unrest has left RU’s campus in a state of unrest, with many students feeling unsafe and unprotected.

When contacted, Prof Ashabul Haque, proctor of RU, said: “We received only a few complaints, which were resolved even before our intervention. So, how can we take disciplinary action?”

RU BCL president Mostafizur Rahman Babu said action would be taken against anyone involved in the previous “stray incidents” and any other misbehavior.

RU’s pro vice-chancellor Sultan Ul Islam, however, said university admissions were “concerned” by the recent surge in violence.

“We will organize meetings with student associations, particularly with BCL, to maintain peace and stability on campus,” he added.