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From Our Member Odhikar, Bangladesh – Statement: Quota Reform Movement: Immediately arrest the Chhatra League perpetrators; reform the quota!

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3 July 2018

Quota Reform Movement: Immediately arrest the Chhatra League perpatrators; reform the quota!

Odhikar would like to express its immense concern and condemnation regarding the horrific attacks by the Chhatra League leaders have unleashed on students protesting for the reformation of the quota on government jobs, since 30 June 2018; along with the police barring protestors from holding protest programmes on this issue, the police picking up a protestor of the Movement and disappearing him for one day – before showing him as arrested; and arresting another protestor and taking him into remand. Even though such attacks are being carried out on students from Dhaka University and other universities, Odhikar condemns the fact that the perpatrators have not been brought to justice and the government chooses to remain silent regarding this matter.

These attacks on the protestors by the Chhatra League leaders, have been perpetrated since 30 June 2018 and, till 2 July 2018, members of this group have attacked protestors protesting in Dhaka University, at the Shaheed Minar in Dhaka, as well as in the Rajshahi, Chittagong,
Jahangirnagar universities and the Shahjalal University of Science and Technology in Sylhet. Attacks are carried out with sticks and rods, and have left many protesting students seriously injured. When the students sought help and shelter from a teacher, the Chhatra League leaders attacked that teacher as well. They even threatened to rape female student protestors and disappear the male ones.

Furthermore, the police arrested Rashed Khan, an important individual of this Movement, under Section 57 of the Information and Communication Technology Act, 2006 (Ammended 2009 and 2013) and he was later sent to five days of police remand by the court. The arrestees are tortured by the police under the guise of police remand. Moreover, Al Amin and a few other Chhatra League men picked up Faruk Hossain, another important individual of this Movement from Dhaka’s Shahabagh area yesterday. Al Amin said that he handed Faruk Hossain over to Shahbagh Police. Shahbagh Police said that they had not arrested Faruk Hossain, however, today they showed Faruk Hossain as an arrestee. Nurul Huq, a leader of the Movement who was injured due to Chhatra League attacks, was told to leave a private hospital by the hospital management.

Odhikar believes that the Awami League-backed Chhatra League is committing such atrocities in order to capitalise on the powers it had gained due to the lengthy presence (for two-terms) of the Awami League government, which came into power a second time, through a controversial election. Throughout the country, almost every residential hall belonging to educational instituitions, is under the control of the Chhatra League. They force reluctant students living in these halls to participate in their political activities and repressed them in many ways. They bar protest movements and silence the protestors so that the Governent can have its way and implement its repressive agendas. Today, when protestors carried out a procession in front of the National Press Club, to protest against the arrest of students who are active in the Quota Movement, the police assaulted a teacher of Dhaka University.

Odhikar demands that the police and other government-backed miscreants stop attacking the protestors and leaders of this Movement, to search for those who have been disappeared and release the detained students; and the Chhatra League perpetrators be brought to justice.

In solidarity,
The Odhikar Team


For a PDF version of this statement, click here.