[Our Correspondent, Dhaka.]
Anti-army riots in Dhaka University continued Tuesday as thousands of students clashed with police and army demanding immediate army pull-out from their campus. Riots started Monday protesting assault of students by army personnel in Dhaka University. Street-battles spread out of the university campus to different parts of Dhaka and campuses across the country on Tuesday leaving at least 250 injured.
The students, demanding withdrawal of army camp from the university gymnasium, brought out processions and clashed with police on the campus intermittently while police fired rubber bullets, blank shots and lobbed teargas canisters to disperse the demonstrators.
Demonstrators burnt an effigy of Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed and two effigies of the army chief, General Moeen Uddin Ahmed, in front of the Aparajeyo Bangla. Agitating students damaged more than a hundred private vehicles and public buses and set fire to an army vehicle in Shahbag.
Dhaka University syndicate on Tuesday morning met in an emergency meeting to review the campus situation but remained inconclusive as the violence again flared up at noon. Acting Vice Chancellor AFM Yusuf Haider met representatives from the government and army HQ to discuss situation.
Earlier in the morning, students came out of their halls of residence defying tight security after overnight clashes with police. They brought out small processions and gathered in front of Aparajeya Bangla at around 10:00 AM and marched towards Curzon Hall area in a huge procession. As the procession reached Raju memorial monument the police fired teargas shells on the procession. They severely baton charged on the demonstrators and also lobbed teargas shell inside the Rokeya Hall.
At one point, after clashing with police, students gathered in front of the vice chancellor’s house and started pelting stones and brickbats into the house. At the same time a group of students went to Shahbagh and damaged more than 50 vehicles. There they burnt a military SUV and injured its driver.
As police attacked the protesters with rubber bullets, they retreated towards the Institute of Fine Arts and began pelting stones at police. They also threw stones on the nearby police control room. Within minutes, the street in front of the institute got covered with stones and brickbats. Students started fires with tyres and other flammables after about every twenty yards on the street to weaken the effect of tear gas.
Police fired blank shots and at one stage resorted to baton charge on the agitating students entering the institute. The students also retaliated with stones before making an escape breaking the wall between the fine art institute and the business administration institute. Police stopped all vehicular movement on the campus streets and put barricade at the entry points. Movements of vehicle were also stopped on the Mirpur Road in between Science Laboratory and Nilkhet and on Elephant Road.
The university teachers association in a general meeting extended its support to the students’ demands. They gave an ultimatum ending Wednesday noon to withdraw the military camp from the campus.
Meanwhile the students under the banner of