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Thoughts on RU Incident: Untold Facts

Edit Date:7/21/2010 12:00:00 AM


Shimul Chaudhury
05 March 2010

Irresponsible, undemocratic and dictatorial statements of government ministers and what Awami-Chhatra-Jubo League cadres have been doing all over Bangladesh over the death of a student at Rajshahi University on 9 Feb 2010 greatly baffle the nation. A section of the media has launched an all-out propaganda that Chattra League man Faruk Hossain was killed and few others were injured by Shibir activists, while it is still uncertain who killed him. Shibir leaders have categorically denied such involvement and iterated that intra-party conflict within the Chattra League cadres of RU left one of them dead and few other wounded. Police’s mysterious role and complicity has also been referred to by Jamaat-Shibir people and questioned by some media. 
Without any certainty about the identity of the perpetrators of the murder of Faruk Hossain, on the provocation of the people in power, police allegedly shot dead a Shibir activist in Chapainobabgonj apparently to be in the good books of the ruling party, while the terrorists of Chattra League chopped a bright Shibir worker of Chittagong University to death when he was on his way back to his dormitory after doing his usual tuition duties. Many Jamaat-Shibir people have been attacked and badly wounded at their homes and in the street, many Jamaat-Shibir offices have been burnt and vandalized and many educational institutions run by them have been damaged, leaving many traumatized and tortured and many parts of the country in lawlessness. Such misdeeds are continuing unabated. While the murder of Faruk is being highlighted with hype, the atrocities and havoc wreaked by Awami-Chhatra-Jubo League people are under-reported and under-emphasized. There were 13 political murders in Bangladesh in February 2010, but the Awami government had singled out one incident to repress Islamic elements in the country. 
On the same day when Faruk was killed, BNP councilor Ahamad Hossain of Dhaka City Corporation Ward-70 was murdered as he was leaving masjid, robbers looted a residence at East Goran in Dhaka and killed an old woman of the family, ruling party extortionists beat up and shot on the right leg of a businessman named Alamgir Hossain in Chougachha of Jessore as he refused to pay toll and as he sought police help, about 30 people were injured as factions of Awami League clashed in Narayanganj and Chuadanga. The list of such incidents occurred on the day Faruk died goes on. Days before, Abubakar Siddique, a meritorious student of Dhaka University hailing from a poor farmer family had to give his life for the factional clashes of Chhatra League in Sir AF Rahman Hall of the University; only a month ago, a Bangladesh Chhatra Maitree leader Rejanul Islam Chowdhury Sunny was killed in broad daylight by Chhatra League hooligans at the campus of Rajshahi Polytechnic Institute; months ago, the general secretary of Shibir unit of Rajshahi University, Sharifuzzaman Nomani was killed by Chhatra League cadres at the University. Chhatra League activists of Dhaka's Cantonment unit killed their leader AKM Faruk Hossain on 12 Feb 2010.

Government took retributive and punitive measures  only in the case of the murder of Faruk Hossain at Rajshahi University on 9 February 2010. No investigation committee was formed and no large-scale arrests were made after the death of other victims. Nor did those deaths make big newspaper headlines for consecutive days. In the last few decades about 135 Shibir leaders and activists were killed in different educational institutions of Bangladesh and many of them by Chhatra League hooligans. According to a report by a pro-Awami League English daily, the Daily Star (10 Feb 2010), since Awami League took office on 6 January 2009, at least five students have been killed and hundreds injured across the country, and all involving Chhatra League. 
No murder or violence committed by Chhatra League prompted any call for banning its politics, there was no mobilization of police forces, no police officer was suspended for negligence of duties, no ministers appeared on the media with a declaration of war on the criminals, no ministers called on the police to launch a crack-down on Chhatra League, no offices of Awami-Chhatra-Jubo League were attacked or burnt down, no senior police officer had to rush to the scene, so on and so forth. The list of such inaction upon the hooliganism of Chhatra League goes on. This inaction is not only a fact with regard to Chhatra League; it is also very much true in regard of the regular murders of Bangladeshi citizens by BSF. We hear almost nothing from the Prime Minister and from other senior people in power in Bangladesh over the routine killings of Bangladeshis by Indian border security forces in the border region. While internally the blood of Awami-Chhatra- Jubo League is more precious than that of the rest of the people of Bangladesh, externally the blood of Bangladeshis does not count much in the Awami imagination when it is shed by the ‘friendly’ neighbour. Whose interest is this government serving? Which country do Awami ministers belong to? Who voted them to power and who are now using them? 
Since the Awami regime came to power, hundreds of Shibir activists only of Dhaka University have been ousted from their dormitories and many of them cannot come to the campus. Many of them were attacked even in the exam halls of Dhaka University while the panicked Shibir students were sitting for exam, and that in the presence of helpless teachers. Torture of Shibir students by Chhatra League at the DU campus has become a regular taken-for-granted incident. Scared Shibir students do not want to open their mouths fearing that reporting such tortures would thwart their education, while a great number of Shibir students abandoned their education at Dhaka University. Only few weeks ago, the central president of Chhatra Dal was severely attacked by Chhatra League cadres at Dhaka University, in which the Proctor of the University was also seriously wounded and admitted to a hospital. Democracy for Shibir students in many places in Bangladesh is non-existent. All these undemocratic practices of hostile parties and all these tortures on Shibir boys make their conviction and loyalty to Shibir only stronger, which Awami League’s arrogance does not let its affiliates understand. 
If students involved in Shibir were murderous and violent, it would first be reflected within the fabric of the organization. But the opposite is true. Since the birth of Shibir, there has not been a single incident of factional clashes among Shibir men. In all the places where Shibir is dominant, there has not been a single incident of money extortion by Shibir people. A look at, and comparison with, other student organizations will tell much louder about the character of Shibir people. These facts are Shibir’s strength. Awami-Chhatra-Jubo League violence on Shibir and media disinformation on the organization will one day be exposed; but what Shibir stands for will remain and may triumph. 

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