Friday, 29 September, 2023

Campus violence must stop

The incumbent government led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has done a lot of welfare-oriented activities during its long tenure in a row. It has lifted thousands of people out of poverty. Benefits of economic and infrastructural development have now reached to every corner of the country. However, all the achievements are being tarnished by the criminality of the cadres of BCL, the ruling party’s student wing. According to a press report published yesterday in two prominent vernacular dailies, BCL cadres have once again engaged in a factional conflict on the Chittagong University (CU) campus over establishing supremacy on the campus.

Two factions – one controlled by former city mayor AJM Nasir Uddin and the other by deputy minister for education Mohibul Hasan Chowdhury got locked in a bloody clash for two consecutive days resulting in grievous injuries to 22 people, one of them is now in a critical condition. Machetes, knives, different kinds of sharp weapons, hammers, iron rods and batons were indiscriminately used during the clash. A press photograph of a major Bangla daily has testified to the fact where a cadre was seen carrying a machete in hand. Scores of peace-loving students bear the brunt of the terrible situation.

However, it is not a stray incident. It is a common phenomenon in the country’s public universities. BCL has routinely hit headlines for all kinds of disgraceful activities, including extortion, murder of students and political rivals, sexual harassment, suppression of popular student movements with brute force, running gangs of drug dealers and hijackers, et cetera. But it is shocking to tell that in every case the university administration remained silent spectators. There is not a public university in the country where academic atmosphere has not been vitiated by the reign of terror created by the BCL men.

They have basically destroyed the very fabric of public education across the country. They illegally influence the admission process, occupy the residential halls and corrupt the examination process. They have destroyed everything. Time has come to rein in this unruly organisation. The general election is nearing fast. If the BCL cadres are not immediately controlled, their criminality will bring massive disrepute to the ruling Awami League, the result of which might reflect in polls. So, end the impunity enjoyed by the BCL before it is too late.