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    Volume 8 Issue 58 | February 20, 2009 |

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Topsy-Turvy Campus

Nusrat Jahan Pritom

Photos: Sajid Hossain

In the last two years a sense of security has prevailed in the campuses, thanks to the measures taken by the previous and current governments; yet clashes between different student factions have not gone away fully. An incident that has taken place in Dhanmondi on February 3, trivial though it was, surrounding a student of Daffodil University is a case in point. A first year student of the university got into a row with a shopkeeper. A brawl ensued when the student was charged Tk 2 for photocopy of a page, which was double the actual cost. At one point, the shopkeeper slapped the student. He did not just stop there--he informed the local goons to beat the student up. The professors of the university came to inquire and resolve the matter but the miscreants assaulted them as well, which also left 15 students injured, three of whom were sent to Dhaka Medical College.

The students complained that, upon their arrival, the police, instead of punishing the real culprits, severely beat the students up. The students became furious at such an unprecedented attack on their fellows. The Officer in Charge (OC) and other senior police officers turned journalists away, refusing to make any comment. The officer told the press to go to the OC, who for his turn, suggested that the journalists go to some other guy and the chain continued until the last person they referred to was nowhere in sight. The area around the campus showed signs of vandalism even though the students denied responsibility. They blamed the shopkeepers and their accomplices, who also denied any wrongdoing.

This has been just another instance of campus violence. For some reason, the government tends to forgive the vandals, and this beastly display of violence and anarchy goes unpunished. The government's reluctance to bring the perpetrators of mob violence to the book has made our campuses a dangerous place to live.

This trend of showing aggression and resorting to violence must be uprooted from the scholastic sites. To any outsider, incidents like that of Daffodil University, is the same as making a mountain out of a molehill. No matter how ridiculous the cause is, 'students' still waste their time getting wounded and even killed.

Either the student feels the necessity to get involved simply because he witnesses others jumping into the confusion; or he wants to prove that he too can carry out these 'daredevil' acts. Another factor that can be suggested is that at their age the students are more prone to violence and rage. Incidentally, a lot more bloodshed, apathy, lack of values and respect to the law, and hatred become induced to these youngsters' impressionable minds.

How long will our educational sectors be rotting with corruption and injustice? If the police had been saner in listening to the Daffodil students, rather than beating them up, the students would have been more co-operative. Perhaps it is time we toy with the idea of introducing campus police to the educational institutions. Our students have the glorious history of leading the nation in our glorious war of liberation. If properly guided, our students can work wonders and make the campus an adobe of peace and prosperity again.

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