Shahjalal University authorities have formed an investigation committee after allegations of sexual harassment and torture were raised against Chhatra League leaders and activists.
Prof Dr Zahir Bin Alam, the transport administrator, heads the five-member probe body. The other members are assistant proctors Jahid Hassan, Shakil Bhuiyan and Kowshik Saha, and Assistant Provost Golam Mohammad Munna.
The committee was formed after an emergency meeting in the afternoon with Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Ilias Uddin in the chair.
Acting proctor Munshi Naser Ibn Afzal said he had recommended a thorough investigation into the sexual harassment and subsequent torture of two journalists for resisting the harassment on the campus Saturday.
However, Chhatra League’s central President Saifur Rahman Shohag said they would expel the attackers after the probe.
The probe was ordered hours after the journalists and students demonstrated on the campus demanding justice.
In her complaint, the victim – an SSC examinee of nearby Pathantula High School – alleged that she had gone to the campus for a visit with her cousin Saturday afternoon.
She was stalked by some Chhatra League activists from the main gate to the Shaheed Minar.
They hurled abuses, asked her indecent questions and even blew cigarette smoke on her face. At one stage, one of the Chhatra League activists slapped her and beat up her cousin. They also asked her not to come to the campus again.
She identified two of the assaulters as Mahmudul Hasan Rudro of the Social Work department and SN Sazzad of the Statistics department, both followers of the unit president, Sanjiban Chakrabarty Partha.
As the girl also called a campus-based journalist seeking a solution, Syed Nabiul Alam Dipu, press club vice-president and correspondent of the Daily Shokaler Khobor, went to the spot along with several other correspondents including Sardar Abbas Ali, general secretary of the university’s press club and reporter of the Daily Observer.
The Chhatra League men also engaged in an altercation with the journalists. In the evening, some activists swooped on Abbas and Dipu at the food court of the campus.
Abbas lost consciousness for being beaten while Dipu sustained injuries too. Both of them are now being treated at Osmani Medical College Hospital.
In a written complaint, the duo named Nazmul Islam Rakib of Mathematics, Aniruddha Deb Amiyo of Public Administration and Sazzad Riyad of Statistics among 10-15 activists loyal to Sanjiban Chakrabarty Partha.
Rakib was suspended by the authorities for sexual harassment of female students of the university.
Since Saturday night, the leaders of Chhatra League’s SUST unit including Joint General Secretary Mrinmoy Das Jhuton had been threatening the journalists of dire consequences. They also campaigned on Facebook claiming that the allegations against them were baseless.
Badrul Alam, a suspended Chhatra League leader of the same campus who hacked college student Khadiza Akhter Nargis last year, was a member of the same gang.
Around 12:30pm Sunday, the journalists and general students formed a human chain on the campus, demanding quick arrest of the culprits and the masterminds –
Sanjiban and Jhuton – and their exemplary punishment. Several teachers of the university also took part in the demonstrations.
They later brought out a silence procession and marched on the campus.
Journalists’ associations of several public universities also protested the incidents of assault through statements.