At least 25 teachers of Islamic University sustained minor injuries when some activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League attacked a peaceful sit-in by the teachers on the campus at Shantidanga, 24 kilometres off the town, yesterday.
The attackers also hurled abuse at the teachers and beat them up, leaving them injured.
Witnesses said about 400 teachers under the banner of Islamic University Teachers' Association (IUTA) staged the sit-in before the university administration building demanding removal of the vice-chancellor, pro vice-chancellor and treasurer over the alleged irregularities in the recruitment of 132 teachers, employees and staff against 76 posts.
A group of BCL men led by IU unit president Jahangir Hossain and general secretary Shamsuzzaman Tuhin entered the campus with a procession around 11:00am. A large number of outsiders including cadres of an outlawed party led by Bikash Ali joined the procession.
Besides, a group of university staff led by Jahangir Alam Shimul were in the procession. Jahangir and his followers are known as supporters of the VC Prof M Alauddin and pro-VC Prof Kamal Uddin.
While crossing the sit-in around 11:30am, the BCL men made the unprovoked assault on the teachers.
They also vandalised some chairs and loudspeakers there and tore off the banners of the IUTA.
Of the injured, Baki Billah of Bangla department, Mahbubur Rahman of chemistry, Tapan Kumar and Tariquzzaman of information and communication engineering, Sahjahan Mondol of law, Asaduzaman of public finance was given first aid at the university medical centre.
The university authorities made the appointments on September 7. The following day, the IUTA protested the recruitment alleging nepotism and recruitment trade and decided to boycott classes.
Since then there has been no academic activity at the university.
Among the appointees are a daughter and other relatives of the VC.
Teachers belonging to several organisations including ruling Awami League backed Bangabandhu Parishad and BNP backed Zia Parishad joined the protest.
Yesterday's attack by the BCL members took many at the university by surprise, as the student body had initially demanded cancellation of the recruitment process.
Contacted, BCL President Jahangir Hossain said the teachers' movement against the university authorities is part of a ploy to foil the ongoing trial of war criminals.
He declined to comment on the BCL men's assault on the teachers.
IUTA president Prof Yakub Ali said following yesterday's incident they have declared the VC, pro-VC, and treasurer “persona non grata” in Kushtia and Jhenidah towns.
The IUTA will sit today to discuss their next course of action, he added.
Prof Abul Ahsan Choudhury, president of IU unit Bangabandhu Parishad, alleged that the attack was instigated by the VC, pro-VC and their administration.
Denying the allegation, Pro-VC Prof Kamal Uddin termed the attack on the teachers unfortunate.
“We urge all the teachers to go to classes to help create a congenial atmosphere on the campus.”