The agitating students said they did not believe what the VC said in Friday’s meeting with them
It was 2017. Asad Uddin took admission in the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet) with a lot of dreams. He did not know then that he would have to leave his most cherished university after just a few months.
One day, some senior students who were Chhatra League activists, called him to a dormitory room and beat him up mercilessly. It was ragging.
Asad could not understand what his fault was. He approached the Buet administration and sought action against the students who had tortured him. But, the university did nothing. Finally, he left the university.
"I sought help and justice from my teachers. But, they either ignored me or told me they could do nothing for me," said Asad.
They feared the BCL leaders, he added.
Former provost of Sher-e-Bangla Hall Prof Zafar Iqbal Khan said they could not take action because the BCL had become a monster on campus.
Another first year student of the university said, wishing anonymity, that he was beaten-up by some BCL men towards the beginning of the year for no reason at all. They did it as part of their ragging culture.
He told his hall provost everything, but the provost said he could not do anything about it. Even though he assured the student that he would talk to Vice Chancellor Prof Saiful Islam about it, he did not.
"We cannot believe any verbal assurances of the administration," he said.
Tithi, a spokesperson of the Buet student movement in the wake of the Abrar murder, told The Business Standard that they do not believe the verbal assurances made by the VC. They want a written assurance from him.
The agitating students also said they did not believe what the VC said in Friday's meeting with them.
"Because, the Buet administration never took any initiative against Chhatra League's continuous repression on students and violent activities on campus," they said.
As many as 30 students have left the university because of brutal the torture by Chhatra League activists on campus.
Hundreds of students are still bearing the brunt of their ragging.
But the university has done nothing about it, they said.
Instead, the criminals got the university's blessings, the students alleged.
Recently, 166 allegations, mostly against BCL men, were posted on a webpage created by a teacher of the university, aiming to give the victims a platform to express their stories.
But the Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (BTRC) has blocked the page.
Against this backdrop, the protesting students met the VC to press home their 10-point demand on Friday night.
At the meeting, VC Prof Saiful announced a ban on student politics on campus and declared the suspension of 19 students who have been charged in the Abrar murder case.
During the meeting, the students directly accused Prof Mizanur Rahman, director of Students Welfare, of being a guardian of the Chhatra League leaders and activists.
They said the BCL were doing everything under the shelter of Prof Mizan.
In response, he said, "I have not given any shelter to BCL activists and leaders. I just took part in some of their programmes."
However, he assured the students that he would not attend any political programme from now on.