- DHAKA, Bangladesh (IANS)
-- About 200 woman students of the Dhaka University were injured when police
allegedly broke into a girl's dormitory and beat them up.
- The police allegedly cracked down on the girls' dormitory
-- Shamsun Nahar Hall -- early Wednesday morning to rescue some women activists
of the Jatiyatabadi Chattra Dal (JCD), the student wing of ruling Bangladesh
- The other girls had confined the JCD members, who wanted
Sultana Shafi, the provost of the hall, to be removed from her post.
- During the unprecedented hour-and-a-half long action
that started at around 1.30 a.m. Wednesday, the police in riot gear dragged
the girls out of their beds in the hall, abused and beat up them, witnesses
- Some victims claimed the police not only tortured them
physically but verbally abused them as well. They said while being dragged
out their dresses got ripped in the brutal action.
- Police took 18 students to the capital's Ramna police
station. They were released late Wednesday and have been asked to appear
- Four assistant proctors of the university, including
a female one, were present during the police action.
- Shafi Ullah, one of the proctors, reportedly justified
the action, saying it was against the unruly students.
- The incident triggered a chain of protests and violence
on the campus throughout Wednesday, even as politicians compared the police
action to the crackdown by Pakistani occupation forces shortly before Bangladesh
won independence in 1971.
- Thousands of students took to the streets, vandalised
and torched vehicles. A double-decker bus was set ablaze Wednesday night,
but no passenger was hurt. A university bus was also torched.
- The police have arrested 27 students.
- Some students were injured when police clubbed the agitators,
even as JCD activists repeatedly attacked the agitating scholars on campus.
- Students came in a huge procession and staged a sit-in
outside the vice-chancellor's office. When asked to leave by the police,
angry students got into an argument with them.
- Police lobbed tear gas on the students to disperse them,
but the entire campus reportedly turned into a battlefield. At one stage,
the police baton-charged the angry youths injuring 100 students, mostly
- The paramilitary Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) has been deployed
to quell the agitation, even as the home and education ministers met university
authorities late Wednesday to decide how to tackle the situation.
- Different groups have strongly condemned the police action
on the girls and demanded swift action against those responsible.
- At least 118 university teachers have demanded vice-chancellor
Anwar Ullah Chowdhury's resignation.
- In a statement, Communist Party leaders Monjurul Ahsan
Khan and Mujahidul Islam Selim said what the police did to the girls reminded
the people of the heinous acts of the Pakistani occupation forces in March
- Another leftist leader, Rashed Khan Menon, alleged the
attack came on the directions of the government.
- Copyright © 2001 IANS India Private Limited. All