Published: Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Extortion, Attack on Newsmen

BCL expels 11

Bangladesh Chhatra League yesterday expelled 11 activists of its Dhaka University Salimullah Muslim Hall unit for assaulting five journalists and indulging in extortion in the wee hours of Pahela Baishakh on campus.
The activists include second-year students Shamim Ahmed of English department, Oitijhya of history, Asif Uddin Ahmed of journalism, Tanvir Ahmed of finance, Shahin Mia of economics and Shadat of law, and Taposh.
Third-year student Pikul and forth-year students Nahid, Hasan and masters’ student Obaydur were also among the expelled.
However, the university authorities have identified 21 Chhatra League activists involved in the assault and handed six of them over to Shahbagh police.
According to witnesses, a group of 10 to 12 pro-Awami League student body Chhatra League activists were extorting from cars, rickshaws, auto-rickshaws and other vehicles on the campus’ Fuller Road since midnight Saturday on the occasion of Pahela Baishakh.
When university correspondents of media houses approached them to know as to what they were doing and their identity, they claimed that they were activists of Chhatra League’s Salimullah Muslim Hall unit.
When the journalists were asking Asif Uddin Ahmed why he was extorting people, his cohorts brought sticks from the dormitory along with 15 more men and began beating up the journalists.
They assaulted daily Prothom Alo correspondent Ahmed Zayeef, Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha correspondent Maloy Kumar Dutta, bdnews 24.com correspondent Sujon Mondol, The Daily Star correspondent Protik Chakrabarty and third year journalism student Dulal Samaddar.
They also attacked Prothom Alo senior correspondent Shariful Hasan when he tried to save the journalists.
About an hour later, University Proctor Amzad Ali, Chhatra League university unit President Mehedi Hasan and General Secretary Omar Sharif went to the spot and identified the six second-year students of the dormitory responsible for extortion.
All of them admitted to extortion and mentioned the names of about 15 others who had attacked the journalists.
DU Proctor Amzad said the university would form a probe body to look into the incident.
Central Chhatra League said it has formed a five-member probe body to investigate the incident.