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All-night protests at DU after Chhatra League leader assaults protester

  • Published at 09:41 pm April 11th, 2018
  • Last updated at 10:56 am April 12th, 2018
All-night protests at DU after Chhatra League leader assaults protester
The president of Dhaka University’s Kabi Sufia Kamal Hall unit of Bangladesh Chhatra League was expelled after it was revealed that she assaulted several quota reform protesters at the hall. A press release signed by Chhatra League President Saifur Rahman Sohag and General Secretary SM Jakir Hossain in the early hours on Wednesday said that Sufia Kamal Hall unit President Iffat Jahan Isha had been expelled from the organization. The announcement followed a night of unrest and protests around the campus. Around midnight, word spread around the campus and on social media that Isha had injured a student from the hall. Outside the female dorm, this correspondent spoke to students behind the locked gate who claimed Isha had assaulted a protester, cutting a tendon on her leg. Students from inside the hall told reporters that they were gathered in the hall grounds and demonstrating against Isha. They also said protesters had cornered Isha in her room and had beaten her up. Soon the protest had spread inside four other female halls of the university. Chhatra League DU unit President Abid Al Hasan told the Dhaka Tribune that steps were taken against Isha. On a Facebook video posted around 1am, Isha was seen apologizing to hall students over a megaphone.
A press release signed by Chhatra League president and general secretary said Sufia Kamal Hall unit President Iffat Jahan Isha had been expelled from the organization
Sufia Kamal House Tutor Neelima Akter announced on a Facebook post around 3am that Isha did not cut a student’s leg, but she did assault a protester, leading another girl to kick her window in and cut her leg in the process. That girl was given first aid, Neelima said. The injured girl refused to talk to this correspondent when approached at the university medical centre.

All-night protests

By 1am, protesters from other halls had gathered at Mall Chattar on the other side of the campus and began chanting slogans. Some protesters from men’s halls and also from neighbouring Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet) also gathered in front of Sufia Kamal. Around 1:45am DU Proctor AKM Golam Rabbani came to the hall and was met with derisive slogans from protesters. Rabbani told journalists the university would form a probe body today and take action against the person in question as per university laws. Isha was suspended by the hall authority. At the Mall Chattar around 2am, students alleged to reporters that Chhatra League was trying to block them from getting out to demonstrate, by locking gates and threatening them. This correspondent found that protesters had broken down the locked gate at Bijay Ekattor Hall. Abid Al Hasan however, denied the allegations, saying: “No one from any hall was forced to stay in. Everyone exercised their freedom.” Around 4:30pm, thousands of protesters left the gate of Sufia Kamal Hall and marched around the campus demanding immediate arrest of Isha and safe campus for all. Protesters finally withdrew and returned to their halls around 5am.
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