Amid protest against BCL activities, some BUET students allege bullying for demonstrating against fundamentalism

They say Hizb-ut Tahrir and Islami Chhatra Shibir are taking advantage of anti-BCL sentiments

Dhaka University
Published : 30 March 2024, 06:15 PM
Updated : 30 March 2024, 06:15 PM

Amid protests against Bangladesh Chhatra League activities on the campus, some students of the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology or BUET have alleged that they were bullied for demonstrating against fundamentalism.

They have also alleged that banned militant outfit Hizb-ut Tahrir, and Islami Chhatra Shibir, the student wing of religion-based political party the Jamaat-e-Islami, are trying to take advantage of student protests against politics on the campus.

Tanvir Mahmud Shopnil, Ashik Alam, Sagar Biswas and Aritra Ghosh of the 20th batch and Argha Das of the 21st made the allegations at a press conference in front of the Shaheed Minar on the campus on Saturday afternoon.

They said around 25 others wanted to join the press conference, but did not come out of fear of “further bullying”.

They showed screenshots of social media and conversations purportedly targeting them.

In a written statement, they said they respect the ban on politics on the campus. “But a banned organisation like Hizb-ut Tahrir, and Islami Chhatra Shibir have taken this as an opportunity to work here.”

They said the 2019 killing of student Abrar Fahad by a group of BCL activists, which led to the ban on politics, pains them as well, but the students’ emotion centring the incident was being used to fuel the current protests.

The statement said they organised a human-chain demonstration on the campus against fundamentalism after the arrest of 34 BUET students in Sunamganj in 2023 on charges of plotting anti-state sabotage.

Police and lawyers said the arrested students were members of Shibir.

“After we organised the demonstration with the slogan - Rise Above Fundamentalism, we were targeted and held accountable in personal attacks,” the BUET students at Saturday’s press conference said.

“We were quizzed from 11pm to 4am in the rooms of different halls. False information about us were disseminated to general students following instigation by a group. Two of us faced ragging by 70-80 people. We were threatened to be forced out of the halls after our human-chain demonstration was labelled a crime.”

The students said Shihab Khan of (mechanical, batch 18), Farabi (mechanical, batch 20) Ibnul Muhtadi Shah (mechanical 20), Redwan Ahmed (industrial and production, batch 18), Sifat Kawsar (chemical, batch 18), were the masterminds behind the activities against them.