Activists of Chhatra League, the pro-ruling party students organization have severely beaten up a teacher of Bangladesh University of Engineering & Technology (BUET), the premier technology education institution in the country, over facebook comments on the execution of opposition Islamist leader Kamaruzzaman, who had been previously sentenced to death over war crimes accusations. He is reported to have sustained severe injuries as a result.
The incident took place on Sunday noon at the BUET campus. Professor Mohammad Jahangir Alam, who was the victim of the assault,is a professor of the Civil Engineering department.
The BUET teachers association has announced a break from work till next Saturday in protest of the shameful act, demanding proper investigation of this incident and decisive and prompt action against the attackers. It was reported in the meantime that the university administration has formed an investigation committee to investigate the incident.
According to sources, a BUET student named Dipu Sarkar posted a derogatory status titled “Kamaruzzaman’s hanging conducted” in a BUET student-alumni group named “Overheard at BUET” on facebook on Saturday. Subsequently, Professor Jahangir Alam replied, “This will never happen. Wait and see. Day by day you all will turn into even worse than what the ‘Razakars’ (term used to denote Pakistani army collaborators in 1971 Liberation War ) were. Injustice never leads to good”. Then some other students opposed this comment while he continued arguing. The teacher then again replied, “ (Not) Joy Mother Kali, Joy India. Say “Joy Bangladesh”, this is non-political. Because only ‘Joy Bangla’ represents 2 countries at a time”.
Eyewitnesses stated that Professor Jahangir Alam was sitting in the departmental office at 1 PM at noon on Sunday, when 15-20 cadres of the Chhatra League, led by Shuvro Jyoti Thikadar, the President and Abu Sayeed Konok, the General Secretary, both members of the newly formed Chhatra League committee in BUET, roughly dragged him outside his office and started beating the professor. In the process, Professor Jahangir’s nose was broken and started bleeding profusely. The Chhatra League men then dragged the professor into the cafeteria, confining and further beating him inside. As news of the attack spread, teachers and the general students alike gathered in front of the Vice Chancellor’s office, protesting the attack on Professor Jahangir and demanding his rescue. A breakaway faction of the Chhatra League also joined them. After a period of time, the BUET administration finally stepped in and rescued Professor Jahangir from the cafeteria. He was promptly taken to the hospital.
After this incident, an emergency meeting of the teacher’s association was called for in the afternoon. After the meeting, the teachers announced a boycott of classes till the next Saturday, demanding an impartial investigation and the quick punishment of the guilty students.
On the other hand the VC Professor Khaleda Ikram, terming the incident as ‘shameful’, said, ”An Investigation Committee has been set up to to find out the miscreants responsible for this shameful attack. The committee will report within 72 hours, based upon which further measures shall be taken”.