Special: DU Riot

August 21, 2007
By

Anti-army riots in Dhaka University continues as thousands of students clash with police and army demanding immediate army pull-out from their campus. An E-Bangladesh news team is now on the ground. We expect to update our coverage with exclusive photos and videos from Dhaka later in the evening. Meanwhile, incoming reports [via news text] from our correspondents in Dhaka update:

[Exclusive] Different sources in Dhaka identify the senior army official who was assaulted by the students in DU campus Monday night. Brigadier General Chowdhury Fazlul Bari — Director, Home Intelligence Bureau, DGFI — was shouted at, kicked, punched and pushed as he went to the campus.

Video: TV grab from ATN.

Earlier, BDNEW24 reported:

Angry students of Dhaka University late Monday chased a senior army official on the campus when he had gone to talk to them introducing himself as a teacher of the university, witnesses said. The official, a brigadier general, took two teachers of the university with him at 11:45pm to pacify the protesting students who rampaged through the campus for hours on end. The students however recognised and swore at him before they started kicking and pushing him. The official finally fled by a motorcycle, according to two bdnews24.com correspondents who witnessed the incident. DU assistant proctor Nazmul Ahsan Kalimullah was at the scene along with another teacher. The incident occurred on the street between the vice-chancellor’s house and the Teachers’ Club when the angry students elsewhere on the campus were fighting with the security officials. The students swooped on another security official, who tried to save the troubled army officer. The second man left the scene with a bleeding head, the witnesses said.

[6:00 PM] DGFI is negotiating with Dhaka University authorities on behalf of the army. Informal/unofficial commitment to close down the army camp in campus is now on the table. ISPR — Inter Services Public Relations — has said army personnel involved in assaulting students and teachers Monday evening have been withdrawn from DU.

[5:30 PM] Riot spreads to New Market and Dhaka College. Streets turn into battlezones. E-Bangladesh correspondent watches injured policemen receiving first-aid.

[3:30 PM] Unidentified men, believed to be intelligence operators, beaten up by agitating students near Dhaka University mosque for video-taping a procession.

[3:15 PM] All entry points to Dhaka University blocked by the police. Paramilitary BDR convoys sighted.

6 Responses to Special: DU Riot

  1. Phantom
    August 21, 2007 at 4:18 pm

    Students have a right to demonstrate and protest any injustice, but do they have the right to break private cars, public buses on the road, specially when the owners of those cars are innocent and had nothing to do with the incident, who will pay for the damages? The widespread demo with lathi and vandalizing on streets of public property by the students was joined in by the the people from the slum areas — clearly seen on video footages from different news channels — they even tried to loot the bank, this type of irresponsibility is injustice.

    So to demonstrate against injustice the students did injustice to general citizens by destroying private and public property. They must choose to demonstrate and protest in different style. To fight back police/army is ok, but breaking the car of the innocent citizen, and imagine what would be the condition of the passengers in the car.

    These type of action was going on after 0ctober 28, 2006 by the political parties and that resulted in the formation of the interim government headed by CA and his advisers but backed by the army. Students must realize that this sort of undemocratic actions spell disaster for them and concerned authorities’ brutal actions become justified as they are bound to protect the citizen and public property. University teachers and and students concerned must think about these undemocratic steps.

  2. Phantom
    August 22, 2007 at 1:42 pm

    CSB news reader had a telephone discussion with Barrister Moinul Hussain who informed that the ugly situation that continued for till third day and engulfed the whole country-specially university areas and in Gazipur the school students too — the entire scenerio is being looked upon as being encouraged by politicians who were not happy over the replacement of this group of CTG and his team of advisers backed by the army.

    Politics is a dirty game as it’s all about power and power corrupts — the present interim government got wide support from citizen at home and abroad and even from international donor countries only because they would remain neutral, uncorrupted and that they would create an honest and congenial environment for a free and fair elections. Their reorganization of the ACC, EC and steps to curb corruption received wide acclamation and they should have remained concentrated on this and possible early elections — elections date fixed for late 2008 was a wrong decision because opponents get much time to reorganize — remember I mentioned that politics is a game — and in any game you don’t give the opponent the lapse time — same is true in WAR: the opponents take advantage of the lapse time and reorganize to fight back — the first step to fight back was to cause the price spiral and is causing difficulties for the people in power and citizen and the second step was taken from the student’s protest and demonstration that have escalated nation wide and they are also joined in by the hawkers and business enterprises that were ousted from their marketing areas.

    Politicians now have a scope to condemn the handling of the incident at the university football ground from where the sparks of unrest began and has spread nationwide. The curfew given by the authorities in hope to bring situation in control is being looked upon suspiciously by the politicians, students, teachers and citizens predicting that there would be a number of arrests.
    I have said earlier that students also have a right to protest and demonstrate — but no right to burn private cars and public property — so they are at fault when they come out on the streets with lathi-including the girl students too — thats pitiful more so to see them being beaten and clothes torn — in return for attacking the police and destroying property.

    Lets hope that following the curfew the present interim government would analyze the situation carefully and go for a full discussion with students, teachers and politicians for a proper solution — not just arrest and charge them. Lets pray that CTG and army chief would have the wisdom to do so.

  3. Strawberry
    August 22, 2007 at 1:51 pm

    Phantom, just tell me where do you live? I know very well that this whole is NOT an encouragements from the politicians. If you do not live in Bangladesh, you won’t understand this. And if you do so, I’m 200% sure you live somewhere around Gulshan Baridhara and got some expensive cars. But you’re free to deny this and declare you actually live in Bhashantek.

  4. Thought Freedom
    August 24, 2007 at 2:34 pm

    Phantom: Let’s say you were a student who just happened to live at Aziz Super Market and had no other place to move to in Dhaka (since you come from Sylhet, let’s say..) and also, you were COMPLETELY innocent of any ‘undemocratic’ behaviour on the streets. However, a bunch of men in green came to your home sweet home and beat you up and insulted you verbally. How would you have felt exactly?

  5. Phantom
    August 24, 2007 at 3:44 pm

    Thought Freedom: There is a saying that only the intelligent and the most physically fit survive all odds or over come danger with ease making the opponent an absolute fool. Fortunately, I have both the required qualities. Therefore, from day one of the incident, I wouldn’t stay within any residential hostel or Aziz Super market residential apartments, its quite obvious that they would come looking for the concerned student but in the frenzy they wouldn’t hesitate get physical with others too and its also understood that they wouldn’t be in a mood to fight fair and square. Besides in such operations/raids they carry weapons and one would be lucky not to be shot and be declared dead in an encounter.

  6. Thought Freedom
    August 24, 2007 at 3:55 pm

    Sometimes one might wonder what was so special about the martyrs in our movements for independence…Your self-preserving attitude is what makes those who selflessly stand against injustice, very, very special. I am not advocating the fact that those who got beaten up are all innocent. In fact, they all could have been criminals. HOWEVER, since we have NO proof of their innocence/guilt, the action taken by the army personnel is completely unjustified given that the only charge against the residents/non-residents were them being there.

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