Monday, February 24, 2020 | ePaper

Nobody is there to control them

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CHHATRA League activists of Dhaka University's Sergeant Zahurul Haq Hall are at it again as they tortured four students for nearly three hours before handing them to police early Tuesday. The BCL men labelled them as Shibir activists and handed them to Shahbagh police around 3:30am in the presence of a team of officials from the DU proctor's office. Shahbagh police released the four hours later but didn't say whether they found their involvement with Shibir. With bruises on his face, M Mukim Chowdhury, one of the four, began a sit-in at Raju Sculpture on campus around 5:00pm on Wednesday, saying he would not leave until getting justice. What is more worrying is that two of the four students' father have been as of late Wednesday night been unable to get in touch with them. The casual way the BCL activists to beat up anyone suspected of being pro-Jamaat shows their unbridled arrogance and contempt for the common students.
It should not be a crime for a student to subscribe to the views of a political party---even one which has been banned or is at odds with the ideological views of the party in power. These types of acts remind us one of the "thoughtcrimes" which George Orwell wrote about in 1984. Hitler's Germany and Stalin's Russia were two states which sought to punish thought crimes--and both ended up in disastrous consequences. Students can't punish other students for holding dissenting views, especially if they belong to the ruling party. What's worse is the complete inaction of the house tutor Prof Billal Hossain who, according to Mukim Chowdhury, saw the beatings but refused to take any action to stop it. If the university authorities kowtow to the ruling party members who act as goons very time then quite soon the general students will lose respect for them as they will consider them to be spineless. By their actions, or rather their inaction, they have shown that they are indeed deserving of the title.
They must not show fear or favour while carrying out their duties--and by doing so bring back the respect which they are entitled to.

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