At least 40 people, including three journalists, were injured during Monday’s turf war between two groups of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) on Jagannath University campus.
The journalists were identified as Latiful Islam, campus correspondent of Daily Samakal, Rakib, university correspondent of Daily Sangbad and Sanaullah Fahad, correspondent of BD24report.com.
Witnesses said members of Chhatra League's suspended committee were attacked by their rival group in the morning at Shanto Chattar, triggering a pitched battle.
The clashes started around 11am and continued intermittently until the evening.
Supporters of the university unit president and general secretary clashed with members of the rival group seeking posts in future committees of the student front when the latter tried to enter the campus. Fifteen people were injured in the clash before police intervened.
Chhatra League activists also attacked five general students for taking photos.
The two groups fought again around 3pm, hurling brick chips at each other. Witnesses said they had heard at least seven explosions during the clash. Police fired teargas shells to contain the situation.
Later around 6:30pm, members loyal to the suspended committee’s president and secretary, gathered on the campus armed with improvised bombs, Chinese axe, machetes, sticks and sharp weapons.
The atmosphere on the campus remained tense all throughout.
The injured were sent to University Medical, Sumona Hospital, National Medical College, and Dhaka Medical College Hospital.
Sheikh Joynul Abedin Rasel, general secretary of the suspended committee, said: “We don’t know what is happening on the campus. The Chhatra League central committee should know about it. We will not take responsibility.”
Rezwanul Haque Chowdhury Shovon, president of the student front’s central committee, said “We gave them chance to correct themselves by suspending the committee once. We will investigate the incident and take tough actions.”
Assistant Proctor Mustafa Kamal claimed that there had been no clash on the campus. “Two groups of students hurled brick chips at each other over taking position on the campus. Nothing happened on the campus,” he said.
“We will go through video footages of the incident and take action against those involved in the clashes,” he added.
Meanwhile, Kotwali zone Assistant Commissioner Badrul Riyad said three platoons of police were deployed to take control of the situation. “We are filing a case,” he said.