See More on Facebook

Politics

Student protesters arrested in Bangladesh

Students in Bangladesh have been arrested and charged after protesting the road death of two of their peers.


Written by

Updated: August 8, 2018

Leaving out the alleged ruling party men involved in attacks on road safety demonstrators and journalists, police have made students accused in cases filed over the last few days’ violence in the capital.

The complainants in all the 29 cases filed with 16 police stations mentioned that the attackers were unknown students, many of whom were in school and college uniforms.

The case documents also state that some of the attackers were unidentified youths believed to be the infiltrators into the student movement sparked by the killing of two of their peers in a road crash on July 29.

This correspondent went through some of the case statements and talked to police officials in this regard.

Asked why they did not sue anyone belonging to the Awami League or its front organisations, a senior official of Dhaka Metropolitan Police, wishing anonymity, said, “Does any officer has the guts to file a case against ruling party activists unless a political decision comes to that end?”

Twenty-seven cases have been filed against several thousand unidentified students and youths for assaulting police, damaging government property and obstructing law enforcers from discharging duties.

Two other cases were filed by an AL leader for attacking the party president’s office in Dhanmondi.

Alleged pro-AL men aided by police had pounced on demonstrators, prompting students to turn violent in some places including Jhigatola, Dhanmondi, Science Lab intersection, Uttara and Mirpur.

Many of them were in helmets and some carrying machetes. Some others were firing gunshots during running battles with the students.

Besides, journalists covering the incidents and passersby were also beaten up.

Take the incident at Jhigatola on August 4.

Around 1:30pm, a group of pro-AL activists allegedly attacked some students who were checking papers and licences of vehicles in Jhigatola as part of their road safety campaign.

The students took the injured to nearby hospitals while some others informed it to their peers who were staging protests at Science Lab intersection.

Several hundred students with brick chips picked from an under-construction building marched towards Jhigatola. They came under attack by armed men but retaliated by throwing stones.

They also threw brickbats at the AL president’s office.

As a fierce battle ensued, at least 150 people including journalists and pedestrians were wounded. Rumours of death and sexual harassment had aggravated the situation.

Amid chase and counter chase, a red-shirted young man with helmet was seen brandishing a pistol and firing shots.

During the violence next day, ruling party men, mostly BCL activists, equipped with iron rods, sticks, machetes came out of the AL office. They caught several persons passing by and beat them up, thinking them to be protesters.

The first attack was carried out on August 2. It was on students in Mirpur by alleged ruling party men, many of whom had their faces covered or wore helmets.

The students were stopping vehicles to check licence and registration papers in front of the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority office in the afternoon. The attack came after police tried to disperse them, witnessed said.

Over the incidents of violence, 29 cases have been filed under the Penal Code and 41 people, including 22 students of private universities, arrested.

Police also filed five cases under the ICT Act and arrested six, said Md Masudur Rahman, deputy commissioner (media) of DMP yesterday.

According to Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan, at least 317 vehicles were vandalised and eight others were torched during the student protests that began after the July 29 crash.

Besides, a police official was attacked while brick chips were thrown at Rajarbagh Police Lines, Kafrul Police Station and some other police establishments, he told reporters earlier.

After days of violence, normalcy returned in the city yesterday. There was no violence or road blockade in any university or elsewhere. The number of vehicles, particularly passenger buses, was relatively low on the streets.

Police freed 37 students, detained during the protests on Monday, and handed them over to parents yesterday.

Mohammad Rasheduzzaman, inspector (investigation) of Tejgaon Industrial Police Station, said, “We have released the students on bonds after guardians came to the police station for their release.”

Besides, Shahbagh police released three Dhaka University students nine hours after a group of BCL activists handed them over to the law enforcers amid demonstrations.

Early yesterday, some BCL men of Fazlul Huq Muslim Hall of DU beat up Tariqul Islam of mathematics department, Mashiur Rahman Sadik of ICT and Zobaidul Haque Rony of physics, alleging that the three spread rumours on Facebook.

Rony is an activist of Samajtantrik Chhatra Front while the two others appear to have no political affiliations.

BCL men called them to the dormitory’s guestroom, quizzed them over their Facebook posts and beat them up before handing them over to police, students alleged.

22 STUDENTS REMANDED

A Dhaka court yesterday placed 22 private university students on a two-day remand in two separate cases filed over vandalism and attacks on police.

Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate Abdullah Al Masud gave the order after officials of Badda and Bhatara police stations produced the arrestees before the court with seven days’ remand prayer.

The arrestees are students of East West University, North South University, South East University and Brac University.

Their lawyers said in the court that the detainees were tortured in police custody. Some of the students were arrested while they were returning home after classes.

Police rejected the allegations.



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


Daily Star
About the Author: The Daily Star is a leading English-language daily newspaper in Bangladesh.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Politics

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam condemn Sunday violence by protesters

Protesters were also attacked by a mob in a department store. Saying that violence would only breed more violence, with everyone suffering as a result, a grim-faced Carrie Lam and her cabinet members on Monday (July 22) publicly condemned the separate acts of violence that shook Hong Kong on Sunday night, the vandalism committed by anti-extradition protesters on a Chinese liaison office, and the brutal attack on protesters and train passengers by an armed mob at Yuen Long Station. At a press conference on Monday afternoon, the Chief Executive blasted the group of radical protesters who had vandalised the exterior of Beijing’s liaison office in Sai Ying Pun, calling it a blatant challenge to national sovereignty. Mrs Lam, who was flanked by key members of her admin


By The Straits Times
July 23, 2019

Politics

Abe aims to revise Constitution following election victory

Revising Japan’s pacifist constitution was one of Abe’s campaign promises. Following the results of the upper house election on Sunday in which the ruling coalition of the Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito won more than a majority of the contested seats, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who is also president of the LDP, will focus on the implementation of his campaign promises. Abe aims to hold a national referendum on constitutional revision by September 2021, when his tenure as LDP president expires. The government will also start full-fledged discussions on how to deal with a U.S.-proposed coalition of the willing to guard the Strait of Hormuz in the Middle East. Abe held talks with Komeito leader Natsuo Yamaguchi at the Prime Minister’s Office on Monday afternoon to confirm that the ruling coalition will take all possible measures to manage t


By The Japan News
July 23, 2019

Politics

The Afghan prism in Pakistan – US relations

Despite their best efforts, the Afghan question still clouds US – Pakistan relations. Despite the Indian media’s assumptions of a US strategic volte-face, Islamabad would do well to acknowledge that the Trump administration still views its relations with Pakistan largely through the prism of Afghanistan. President Donald Trump’s desire for an early end to America’s longest war is the principal reason for his invitation to Prime Minister Imran Khan. Pakistan has played a key role in facilitating the Afghan peace process and the US-Taliban talks. These have reportedly made encouraging progress over the past few months. An agreement on the withdrawal of US-Nato troops has evidently been reached between the US and the Afghan Taliban, although no timetable for the withdrawal has been finalised and it is not clear if the troop withdrawal would be commenced before, during or after a political settlement i


By Dawn
July 21, 2019

Politics

Ruling bloc set to keep majority in Japan

The move has significant impact on any attempts to rewrite Japan’s pacifist constitution. The ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner Komeito are set to win the majority of the 124 seats up for grabs in the House of Councillors election, according to tallies by The Yomiuri Shimbun on Sunday night after polls closed at 8 p.m. The ruling bloc is expected to maintain its majority in the 245-member upper house, taking into account the 70 seats it holds that were not up for election this year. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who is on the verge of securing his sixth successive national election victory, is expected to move forward on issues concerning the consumption tax rate hike and the amending of the Constitution. Abe’s current term as LDP president expires in September 2021. Some LDP members were concerned that the Abe administration wo


By The Japan News
July 21, 2019

Politics

Pro-independence group forms political party in Taiwan

The move will unlikely improve cross strait relations. The pro-independence Formosa Alliance formed a political party on July 20, saying that it hoped to field at least 10 candidates in the legislative election next January and give independence-leaning voters an alternative to the current ruling party. The Formosa Alliance will not compete in the 2020 presidential election, said Lo Jen-kuei, a minister in the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan, who was elected chairman of the new party. He said the Formosa Alliance was formed not out of dissatisfaction with the performance of President Tsai Ing-wen but rather to give pro-independence voters a choice other than her Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). In fact, Lo said, it would be a blessing for the Taiwanese people if the DPP won the 2020 presidential election. He said he hoped to see Tsai team up with former Premier William Lai on the DPP pres


By Asia News Network
July 21, 2019

Politics

Civilian rule officially restored as King swears in Prayut II govt

The government is made up of many of the same advisors and ministers as the previous military government. The new Prayut Chan-o-cha government was sworn in on Tuesday during a ceremony overseen by His Majesty the King, signalling the return of civilian rule after five years following the military coup in 2014. The ceremony took place at 6pm in the Amphorn Satharn Throne Hall, where all 36 ministers were present. In a break with tradition, however, television cameras were not on hand to record the event. The historic occasion marked the first time that HM the King Maha Vajiralongkorn Phra Vajiraklaochaoyuhua, as head of state, together with Queen Suthida Bajrasudhabimalalakshana, has overseen the advent of a new government – the King’s first event of such kind after his Coronation in May. Also new was the venue for the ceremony, which has previously been held in the


By Cod Satrusayang
July 17, 2019