A group of Bangladesh Chhatra League men have helped the Rajshahi University vice-chancellor escape from a campus building besieged by protesters demanding justice after violent clashes between students and locals.
VC Prof Golam Shabbir Sattar was at the Senate building on the campus when more than a hundred students started demonstrating around noon on Sunday.
After two hours, another group of students from the Chhatra League's Rajshahi University unit came to the aid of the embattled Sattar, who had been under pressure from students seeking justice and swift investigation into the violent clashes that left at least 92 students injured.
Saturday's clash stemmed from a dispute between a student and bus operators before spiralling out of control and spilling onto the Dhaka-Rajshahi highway.
Details are sketchy, but according to students and locals, Alamin Akash, a sociology student, got into a row with staff members of the bus company, Mohammad Paribahan, while travelling to Rajshahi from Bogura.
Upon arriving at the university's Binodpur gate, the student continued to argue with the transport workers.
After the bus stopped, a local shopkeeper intervened and became embroiled in an altercation with students gathered at the Binodpur gate. The situation escalated to a brawl, witnesses said.
Later on Saturday, students from the university's sociology department gathered at the scene and attacked local shopkeepers. In response, locals launched a counter-attack, leading to violent clashes.
The students also blocked the Dhaka-Rajshahi Highway as both sides started hurling brickbats at each other.
Over 150 people were brought to the Rajshahi Medical College Hospital after the clashes.
Assailants torched around 30 shops next to the Binodpur gate of the university after the clashes erupted, according to Shahidul Islam Shahid, president of the Binodpur Commerce Association. A police box and a motorcycle were also burnt at the gate.
VC IN A TIGHT SPOT
Before coming into the crosshairs of the protesting students, Sattar had refused to visit the campus' Binodpur gate, fearing his presence could exacerbate an already tense situation, during a conversation he had with some of the demonstrating students.
Some students, who were unhappy with the VC's unwillingness to heed their demands, were seen vandalising some structures at the main gate of the campus.
Later, Dr Sattar escaped from the Senate building with the help of the Chhatra League men and returned safely to his campus residence.
Anisur Rahman, commissioner of Rajshahi Metropolitan Police, told journalists that the situation was under control.
"We have yet to receive a formal complaint centring the issue. We will launch a full-scale investigation as soon as we receive any complaint."