Sunday, January 20, 2019 | ePaper

Fresh agitation on card: 3 top leaders picked up and then freed

Quota protesters for withdrawal of cases in two days

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Students' Right Protection Council brought out a procession on the DU campus on Monday demanded withdrawal of all cases filed by the police against the protesters during quota reform movement within two days.

DU Correspondent :
Three top leaders of quota reform movement were allegedly picked up by Detective Branch (DB) of Police on Monday noon from Dhaka University campus, just after the leaders placed a two-day ultimatum from a press conference, demanding withdrawal of cases filed against protesters.
The three joint conveners of General Students' Rights Protection Council -- Rashed Khan of MBA, Faruk Hossain of Disaster Management Department and Nurul Haque Noor of English Department -- were picked up by DB officials by force from in front of Dhaka Medical College and Hospital (DMCH).
They were going to the DMCH  to see their fellow protesters who were hospitalised after being severely injured by law enforcers during the movement.
The student leaders, however, were released around 2:30 pm, after being taken to
 DB's Minto Road headquarters in the capital from the DU campus.
Meanwhile, general students at Dhaka University brought out a procession on Monday evening from DU Central Library, protesting harassment of student leaders by law enforcing agencies. The procession paraded through different roads on the campus.
Contacted, Additional Commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (detectives) Debdas Bhattacharja, however, refuted any ill-motive behind the picking up, claiming that 'they were not detained', only called in for discussion.
"They might have left already," he told New Nation in the afternoon.
But the student leaders categorically rejected the claim saying that none discussed anything with them at the DB office.
"Although they (DB officials) said that they were picking us to discuss some aspects of the movement, and to show us video footage of VC's resident attack, neither had they showed us any footage, nor held any discussion before releasing us," said Rashed Khan to New Nation after returning to campus.
Witnesses and the quota protesters said, the three were stopped in front of DMCH around 12:45pm when they were going by rickshaw. They were picked up and shoved into a microbus.
Mentionable, quota movement leader Rashed Khan's father was also summoned to the police station at his village in Jhenaidah.
"They rebuked my father calling names at Jhenaidah Sadar thana, and instructed him to come to the thana whenever he is summoned in future," Rashed told The New Nation.
Salahuddin, a worker at a roadside food stall, who witnessed the incident, said 7-8 people came by a microbus and a motorcycle and stopped the rickshaw of the student leaders. There raised a squabble between the two parties, before the three rickshaw passengers were shoved into the microbus.
At the press conference, the student leaders also condemned a report published at the daily Ittefaq's Monday issue, terming the protestors as Chhatra Shibir activists. They also demanded withdrawal of the news.
"If the newspaper doesn't withdraw the report within 5:00 pm today (Monday), all the educational institutions of the country will boycott the newspaper from tomorrow," the student leaders warned at the press briefing. 
They urged the DU authorities not to harass any student involved in the movement either on the campus or at halls.
They also demanded the arrest of miscreants involved in VC's resident attack.
Meanwhile, the Ittefaq authorities removed the report from the newspaper's online version, and expressed their sorrow 'if the report hurt anybody'.
Hundreds of students and young jobseekers led by the council demonstrated last week demanding reforms in quota system in public services.
The demonstration was suspended after Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina came to terms with their demand, announcing in the Parliament on Wednesday that 'there would be no quota in government jobs from now on'.

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