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.
|President||Al Nahean Khan Joy|
|General Secretary||Lekhak Bhattacharjee|
|Founder||Sheikh Mujibur Rahman|
|Founded||4 January 1948|
|Headquarters||23, Bangabandhu Avenue, Gulistan, Dhaka-1000|
BSL has been repeatedly accused of using torture, extortion, violence, and killings to instill fear. 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. 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. 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. In 2019, prominent English language daily of Bangladesh, Dhaka Tribune labelled the organization as "the brand of shame".
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, while Khalek Newaz Khan was the founder general secretary of the Chhatra League.
During the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War, members of the Chhatra League were recruited into the Mujib Bahini (also known as the Bengal Liberation Force), 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." 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.
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.
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.
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.
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. Law enforcement was present in the vicinity, yet the miscreants were not stopped, according to witness accounts:
"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:
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.
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. He was taken to Mitford Hospital, where he shortly died of his wounds. 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. Only eight of the twenty-one defendants were in custody at the time of the sentence, with the remaining thirteen tried in absentia.
In March 2018, a student of Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (SUST) suffered a bullet wound during a clash between two BSL factions. 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.
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. Video and photos of the attack circulated on social media, prompting criticism over police and university administration inaction.
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. 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.
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.
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. The report came after BCL activists allegedly raped a woman in front of "BCL Men's Room" at MC College. The victim's husband has filed a rape against several BCL activists and the victim has named several in her court statement. A total of 7 suspects have been arrested as of 29 September 2020.DNA reports have confirmed involvement of the suspects.
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. His supporters attacked progressive students, Muslims inside the national mosque compound in Dhaka, 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.
Principles: Education, Peace, Progress
Ideology: Bengali Nationalism
Number of units: 111
Main Unit: University of Dhaka Unit
Former presidents and general secretariesEdit
President - General Secretary
Naimuddin Ahmed (Convener)
Dabirul Islam - Khaleq Newaz Khan
Khaleq Newaz Khan - Kamruzzaman
Rafiqullah Chowdhury - Azhar Ali (Going Abroad) Shah Moazzem Hossain (Acting)
Syed Mazharul Haque Baki - Abdur Razzak
Abdur Rauf (Expelled) - Khaled Mohammad Ali
Sheikh Shahidul Islam - MA Rashid
1976-1977- MA Awal (Convener)
Obaidul Quader - Bahalul Majnun Chunnu
Mostofa Jalal Mohiuddin - Akh M Jahangir
Abdul Mannan - Jahangir Kabir Nanak
Habibur Rahman (Eminent), Shahe Alam (Executive) - Ashim Kumar Ukil
Mainuddin Hasan Board - Death of Iqbal
AKM Enamul Shakh Shamim - Ishaq District Khan Panna
Bahadur Bepari - Ajay Kar Khokon
Liaquat Sikder - Nazrul Islam Babu
Mahmud Hasan Ripon - Mahfuzul Haider Chowdhury Roton
HM Badiuzzaman Sohag-Siddiqui Nazmul Alam
Saifur Rahman Sohag - SM Zakir Hossain
Rezwanul Haque Chowdhury Shovon (Resigned) Golam Rabbani (Resigned)
• 2019-2020- Present
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