Bangladesh Chhatra League

The Bangladesh Chhatra League (Bengali: বাংলাদেশ ছাত্রলীগ; translation: Bangladesh Students' League; abbr. BSL), formerly known as the East Pakistan Student League, often simply called the Chhatra League, is a students' political organisation in Bangladesh, founded by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on 4 January 1948. BSL is the student wing of the Bangladesh Awami League.[2]

Bangladesh Chhatra League
বাংলাদেশ ছাত্রলীগ
AbbreviationBSL
PresidentAl Nahean Khan Joy[1]
General SecretaryLekhak Bhattacharjee
FounderSheikh Mujibur Rahman
Founded4 January 1948; 73 years ago (1948-01-04)
Headquarters23, Bangabandhu Avenue, Gulistan, Dhaka-1000
Party flag
বাংলাদেশ ছাত্রলীগের পতাকা.svg
Website
bsl.org.bd

BSL has been repeatedly accused of using torture, extortion, violence, and killings to instill fear.[3][4][5] At least 33 people were killed and 1,500 got seriously injured from attacks by BSL between 2009 and 2014. Number of fatalities rose to 129 between 2014 and 2018 while 31 people were killed in 2018 alone.[6] A BSL leader was arrested for links with the banned terrorist group Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh in a militant hunt after the July 2016 Dhaka attack.[7] Following the attacks on student protesters in 2018, a petition was started by general people of Bangladesh to "Enlist Bangladesh Chhatra League (BSL) as a Terrorist Organization" at Change.org.[8][9] In 2019, prominent English language daily of Bangladesh, Dhaka Tribune labelled the organization as "the brand of shame".[10]

HistoryEdit

On 4 January 1948, the East Pakistan Muslim Chhatra League was established by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at a meeting in Fazlul Huq Muslim Hall at the University of Dhaka. The organisation's name was later changed[when?] to the Bangladesh Chhatra League. Naeemuddin Ahmed was the first convener of BSL,[citation needed] while Khalek Newaz Khan was the founder general secretary of the Chhatra League.[citation needed]

During the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War, members of the Chhatra League were recruited into the Mujib Bahini (also known as the Bengal Liberation Force),[citation needed] an armed group trained by India's foreign intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing. However, their exact involvement in the war is disputed, with Zafrullah Chowdhury stating, "The Mujib Bahini did not fight the liberation war."[11] In 2014, A. K. Khandker was sued for accusing the Mujib Bahini of hooliganism and looting during the war in his book in his book 1971: Bhetore Baire.[12]

ViolenceEdit

Culture of rape in Jahangirnagar UniversityEdit

The general secretary of Bangladesh Chhatra League Jahangirnagar University unit, Jasimuddin Manik and his followers celebrated the rape of 100th girls including at least 20 students of the university in 1998. This led to a series of protests which resulted in the expulsion of Manik and his followers from the university on 2 August 1999 after the 1999 JU Anti-Rape Movement.[13]

Murder of Abrar FahadEdit

A student of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology was beaten to death after Bangladesh Chhatra League men allegedly questioned him suspecting his involvement with Shibir.[14][6][15]

Alleged students are: Mehedi Hasan Rasel of civil engineering, general secretary of Buet BSL, Muhtasim Fuad of civil engineering vice-president, Mehedi Hasan Robein of chemical engineering, the organizing secretary, Anik Sarker of mechanical engineering, the secretary of information and research affairs, Ishtiaq Ahmed Munna of mechanical engineering, the publication affairs secretary, Ifti Mosharraf Shakal of biomedical engineering batch-16, the deputy social welfare secretary, Meftahul Islam Zion of naval architecture and marine engineering, the sports secretary, Muzahidur Rahman Muzahid of civil engineering, Muntasir Alam Jemi of chemical engineering and Khandaker Tabakhkharul Islam Tanvir of mechanical engineering, Moniruzzaman Monir, Water Resources Engineering Department, Akash Hossain, Civil Engineering Department and Shamsul Arefin Rafat, Mechanical Engineering Department of Buet.[16]

Women harassment on Pohela Boishakh 2015Edit

On Bangla New Year celebration of Dhaka University campus, a group of students sexually assaulted women on the venue and tried to strip them off their clothing.[17] Law enforcement was present in the vicinity, yet the miscreants were not stopped, according to witness accounts:[18]

"When we sought help from a few policemen standing 20 yards from the spot, they said that the area was beyond their jurisdiction,” said Amit who also came under attack by the youths and had his fingers fractured.

Amit along with five of his fellow activists had tried to save a group of women aged between 25-30 years from the rowdy youths.

"The youths were divided into three groups and each group had 10-12 of them. People everywhere around were blowing vuvuzela so loudly that nobody could hear the victims' cry for help," he said, adding thousands of people were milling around the area, making it difficult for them to prevent the attackers.

Despite having CCTV footage which clearly identified the culprits, the police made no arrests by 2019:[19]

The probe over the incident was forced to end as the DB police failed to concretely identify any of the culprits beyond simple facial and visual CCTV recording during their eight-month-long investigation. DB Sub inspector Dipok Kumar Das submitted a final report to court on December 13, 2015, saying he had failed to identify any of the suspects.

As the ruling party Awami League has control over law enforcement and Chhatra League is the student wing of Awami League, it is widely speculated that the police assisted Chhatra League to carry out these attacks by taking no action to stop them and by making no arrests. Notably, Chhatra League also prevented its female members from protesting this incident.[20]

Murder of Biswajit DasEdit

Biswajit Das, a 24-year-old tailor in Dhaka, Bangladesh, was murdered on 9 December 2012 by members of the Bangladesh Chhatra League who mistook Das for an opposition supporter. Das was chased and attacked with machetes, iron bars, and hockey sticks.[21] He was taken to Mitford Hospital, where he shortly died of his wounds.[22] Twenty-one BSL activists were found guilty of murder on 18 December 2013. Eight were sentenced to death and thirteen were sentenced to life in prison.[23] Only eight of the twenty-one defendants were in custody at the time of the sentence, with the remaining thirteen tried in absentia.[24][25]

2018 conflictsEdit

In March 2018, a student of Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (SUST) suffered a bullet wound during a clash between two BSL factions.[26] Reportedly, two factions of the SUST unit of BSL, led by vice-presidents of the unit, had battled over establishing supremacy on the campus. A group of BSL men, led by Akando and colleagues, attacked another man in a restaurant near the university. The man responded with a gunshot which injured another student.[26]

In July 2018, protests and counter-violence erupted at various universities, particularly Rajshahi University, over the quota reform movement, which sought to change the quota system that allocated 56% of Bangladesh government jobs to specific classes. In a protest procession on 2 July 2018, quota-reform movement leader Toriqul Islam and 15 others were attacked with sticks, bamboo poles, a dagger and a hammer. Islam's leg was broken as a result of the attack. A correspondent from The Daily Star filmed the incident and the newspaper reported that it had identified eleven of the attackers, stating that ten were members of the BSL.[27][28] Video and photos of the attack circulated on social media, prompting criticism over police and university administration inaction.[27]

Dhaka road safety protest attacksEdit

On 29 July 2018, two students were killed and a further twelve people were injured when a bus hit a bus stop in Dhaka. Protests began shortly afterward, demanding better road safety. During the protests, BSL members were alleged to have been involved in numerous attacks on protestors throughout Bangladesh.[29] On 5 August 2018, a number of photojournalists were attacked, allegedly by members of the BSL wearing helmets. Law enforcement officers were present but did not make any attempt to stop the attack.[30][31]

Attack on journalistsEdit

Reporters Without Borders in its 2020 country report mentioned that during the 2020 Dhaka City Corporation Election, Chhatra League goons attacked and beaten at least 10 journalists brutally as they tried to cover the massive rigging during the election.[32]

MC College allegationsEdit

On 28 September, The Daily Star, reported that BCL had participated in factional clashes at MC College, which resulted in 4 people dying in various incidents since 2018.[33] The report came after BCL activists allegedly raped a woman in front of "BCL Men's Room" at MC College.[34] The victim's husband has filed a rape against several BCL activists[35] and the victim has named several in her court statement.[36] A total of 7 suspects have been arrested as of 29 September 2020.[37][38]DNA reports have confirmed involvement of the suspects.[39][40]

Attacks on Anti-Modi ProtestersEdit

Leader of Dhaka University's Chhatra League unit Sanjit Chandra Das declared to "peel off the skin" of the protesters if they protest against Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit in March 2021 to Bangladesh.[41] His supporters attacked progressive students, Muslims inside the national mosque compound in Dhaka,[42] and students inside a madrasa compound in Brahmanbaria to quell their protests against Modi triggering a violent anti-Modi protest across the country that claimed 10 lives as of March 27.[43]

StructureEdit

Principles: Education, Peace, Progress

Ideology: Bengali Nationalism

Number of units: 111

Main Unit: University of Dhaka Unit

Current Organizational Guardian: Sheikh Hasina[44]

Former presidents and general secretariesEdit

President - General Secretary

1947 -

Naimuddin Ahmed (Convener)

1947-1950

Dabirul Islam - Khaleq Newaz Khan

1950-1952

Khaleq Newaz Khan - Kamruzzaman

1952-1953

Kamruzzaman - MA Wadud[a]

1953-1957 -

Abdul Momin Talukdar[b] - MA Awal

1958-1960 -

Rafiqullah Chowdhury - Azhar Ali (Going Abroad) Shah Moazzem Hossain (Acting)

1960-1963-

Shah Moazzem Hossain - Sheikh Fazlul Haque Mani

1963-1965 -

KM Obaidur Rahman - Serajul Alam Khan

1965-1967-

Syed Mazharul Haque Baki - Abdur Razzak

1967-1968 -

Ferdous Ahmed Qurishi - Abdur Razzak

1968-69 -

Abdur Rauf (Expelled) - Khaled Mohammad Ali

1969-1970 -

Tofail Ahmed - A. S. M. Abdur Rab

1970-1972-

Noor Alam Siddiqui - Shajahan Siraj (Expelled), Ismat Qadir Gamma (Acting)

1972-1973 -

Sheikh Shahidul Islam - MA Rashid

1973-1974-

Monirul Haque Chowdhury (Acting) - Shafiul Alam Prodhan (Expelled), Mostafa Jalal Mohiuddin

1976-1977- MA Awal (Convener)

1977-1981 -

Obaidul Quader - Bahalul Majnun Chunnu

1981-1983 -

Mostofa Jalal Mohiuddin - Akh M Jahangir

1983-1985 -

Abdul Mannan - Jahangir Kabir Nanak

1986-1988

Sultan Mohammad Mansur Ahmed[c] - Md. Abdur Rahman

1988-1992-

Habibur Rahman (Eminent), Shahe Alam (Executive) - Ashim Kumar Ukil

. 1992-1994

Mainuddin Hasan Board - Death of Iqbal

1994-1996 -

AKM Enamul Shakh Shamim - Ishaq District Khan Panna

1997-2002-

Bahadur Bepari - Ajay Kar Khokon

2002-2006 -

Liaquat Sikder - Nazrul Islam Babu

2008-2011 -

Mahmud Hasan Ripon - Mahfuzul Haider Chowdhury Roton

2011-2015

HM Badiuzzaman Sohag-Siddiqui Nazmul Alam

2015-2016-

Saifur Rahman Sohag - SM Zakir Hossain

2018-2019-

Rezwanul Haque Chowdhury Shovon (Resigned) Golam Rabbani (Resigned)

• 2019-2020- Present

Al-Nahian Khan Joy - Lekhak Bhattacharya[50][49]

NotesEdit

  1. ^ The BCL website gives 1952-1953 as the period of Wadud's secretaryship,[45] but other sources say it was 1953-1954.[46][47]
  2. ^ The BCL website gives 1953-1957 as the period of Talukdar's presidency,[45] but Banglapedia says it was 1953-1956.[48]
  3. ^ The BCL website gives 1986-1988 as the period of Ahmed's presidency,[45] but Jago News 24 says it was 1985-1988.[49]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ ছাত্রলীগ থেকে বাদ শোভন -রাব্বানী, দায়িত্বে জয়-লেখক. Prothom Alo (in Bengali). Retrieved 14 September 2019.
  2. ^ "Bangladesh students attacked during Dhaka protest". BBC News. 4 August 2018.
  3. ^ Delhi, Redwan Ahmed Rebecca Ratcliffe in (10 October 2019). "Father demands justice after student beaten to death in Bangladesh". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 17 October 2019.
  4. ^ "Killing of Bangladesh student triggers protests". BBC News. 8 October 2019. Retrieved 17 October 2019.
  5. ^ "Bangladesh Student Killing Sparks University Protests". Voice of America. Retrieved 17 October 2019.
  6. ^ a b "Terror Rising". The Daily Star. 11 October 2019. Retrieved 14 October 2019.
  7. ^ "Chhatra League leader arrested for militant links". Dhaka Tribune. Retrieved 5 June 2020.
  8. ^ "Awami League / Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL)". Terrorism Research & Analysis Consortium. Retrieved 16 May 2019.
  9. ^ "Bloody Sunday in Bangladesh". Democracy News.
  10. ^ "The brand of shame that is Chhatra League". Dhaka Tribune. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
  11. ^ Ahmed, Taib; Islam, Khadimul (16 December 2014). "'Mujib Bahini didn't fight liberation war'". New Age. Retrieved 21 May 2016.
  12. ^ "AK Khandker sued for 'Mujib Bahini's looting' claim". The Daily Star. 10 September 2014. Retrieved 21 May 2016.
  13. ^ "Rape, impunity and power—then and now". The Daily Star. Retrieved 30 June 2020.
  14. ^ "Buet student murdered after 'BCL men grilled' him". The Daily Star. Retrieved 8 October 2019.
  15. ^ "Four hours of torture led to Abrar's death". Dhaka Tribune. 9 October 2019. Retrieved 14 October 2019.
  16. ^ "Abrar murder: 3 more Buet students arrested". The Daily Star. Retrieved 8 October 2019.
  17. ^ "Boishakh celebration: Women harassed near TSC". Dhaka Tribune. 15 April 2015. Retrieved 14 October 2019.
  18. ^ "Outrage over sex assault". The Daily Star. 16 April 2015. Retrieved 14 October 2019.
  19. ^ "4 years on, no progress in Pohela Boishakh sexual harassment trial". Dhaka Tribune. 14 April 2019. Retrieved 14 October 2019.
  20. ^ "Chhatra League reins in its women". Dhaka Tribune. 19 April 2015. Retrieved 15 October 2019.
  21. ^ "21 BCL men indicted". The Daily Star. 3 June 2013. Retrieved 3 August 2017.
  22. ^ "Eight to die for Biswajit murder, 13 get life". bdnews24.com. 18 December 2013. Retrieved 3 August 2017.
  23. ^ "Bangladesh sentences eight students to death for murder". LiveMint. Agence France-Presse. 18 December 2013. Retrieved 3 August 2017.
  24. ^ "Bangladesh sentences eight students to death for murder". BBC News. 18 December 2013. Retrieved 29 January 2017.
  25. ^ "8 Awami activists get death for murder of Hindu man". The Hindu. Press Trust of India. 18 December 2013. Retrieved 29 January 2017.
  26. ^ a b "Student shot during BCL infighting at SUST". The Independent. Dhaka. 21 March 2018. Retrieved 16 August 2018.
  27. ^ a b "Rajshahi police saw nothing!". The Daily Star. 9 July 2018. Retrieved 16 August 2018.
  28. ^ "Injured quota protester Tariqul moved to Dhaka". Dhaka Tribune. 8 July 2018. Retrieved 16 August 2018.
  29. ^ "Minute by the minute: Saturday's protest ends with violence in Jigatola". Dhaka Tribune. 4 August 2018. Retrieved 4 August 2018.
  30. ^ "5 photojournalists hurt in 'BCL attack'". The Daily Star. 5 August 2018. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  31. ^ "6 photojournalists injured in attacks by 'BCL'". The Independent. Bangladesh. 5 August 2018. Retrieved 24 November 2019.
  32. ^ "Tougher politics, more press freedom violations". Reporters Without Borders. 29 April 2020. Retrieved 12 September 2020.
  33. ^ "BCL reign over MC College: Crimes thrive on factional politics". The Daily Star. 28 September 2020. Retrieved 29 September 2020.
  34. ^ "Husband held hostage, wife gang-raped before 'BCL men's room' in college hostel". Prothom Alo. Retrieved 29 September 2020.
  35. ^ "Gang rape at MC College hostel: Case filed against 6 BCL men, 3 others". Prothom Alo. Retrieved 29 September 2020.
  36. ^ "MC College rape: Court records victim's statement". The Daily Star. 27 September 2020. Retrieved 29 September 2020.
  37. ^ "MC College Gang Rape: 3 more suspects on 5-day remand". Dhaka Tribune. 29 September 2020. Retrieved 29 September 2020.
  38. ^ "Police arrest two suspects in Sylhet MC College rape". bdnews24.com. Retrieved 29 September 2020.
  39. ^ "DNA report confirms MC College gang rape". Dhaka Tribune. 30 November 2020. Retrieved 30 November 2020.
  40. ^ "DNA report shows involvement of accused in MC College gang rape". The Financial Express. Dhaka. Retrieved 30 November 2020.
  41. ^ "DU BCL president threatens to 'peel off the skin' of anti-Modi protesters on campus". The Daily Star. Retrieved 27 March 2021.
  42. ^ "Clashes break out in Baitul Mukarram area". Prothom Alo. Retrieved 27 March 2021.
  43. ^ "5 shot dead during clashes in Brahmanbaria". The Daily Star. Retrieved 27 March 2021.
  44. ^ Sarkar, Rasel. ৭৩ বছরে ছাত্রলীগ. bdnews24.com (in Bengali). Retrieved 29 January 2021.
  45. ^ a b c বিগত কমিটি সমূহ [Past Committees]. Bangladesh Chhatra League (in Bengali).
  46. ^ "Death anniversary of MA Wadud". The Daily Star. 28 August 2010.
  47. ^ "Language movement veteran MA Wadud's 90th birth anniversary observed". bdnews24.com. 1 August 2015.
  48. ^ Akbar, Md. Ali. "Talukdar, Abdul Momin". Banglapedia. Archived from the original on 20 November 2016. Retrieved 20 November 2016.
  49. ^ a b যেমন আছেন ছাত্রলীগের সাবেক নেতারা [Such are the former leaders of Chhatra League]. Jago News 24 (in Bengali). 4 January 2017.
  50. ^ ছাত্রলীগের সাবেক ও বর্তমান সভাপতি-সম্পাদকদের ক্রেস্ট সম্মাননা. Jago News 24 (in Bengali). Retrieved 29 January 2021.

External linksEdit