Chhatra League evicts 22 quota reform activists from IU dormitory
Bangladesh Chhatra League, the student wing of the ruling Awami League, have allegedly forced out 22 students, who have been participating in the movement demanding reformation to the quota system in government jobs, from their dormitory at the Islamic University (IU) in Kushtia.
Some of the evicted students are children of 1971 freedom fighters and the others activists of the IU Chhatra League’s Lalon Shah Hall unit.
So far, 40 students have been forced out of the dormitory by Chhatra League since the movement started in mid February.
Hall unit leader Salahuddin Ahmed Sajal, an associate of IU Chhatra League President Shahinur Rahman Shahin, reportedly threatened the 22 students Wednesday night and had them thrown out of the dormitory around 9am on Thursday.
The evicted students claimed that IU Chhatra League had opposed the movement since it started on campus, expressing solidarity with nationwide demonstrations. The demonstrators received threats nearly every day.
After Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s announcement on Wednesday that the quota system would be scrapped entirely, Salahuddin had the 22 students come to his dormitory room and threatened them. The next morning, they were thrown out of the hall.
Two of them, Billal and Ahsanur, said: “We are the children of freedom fighters. Our only fault is joining the logical movement, instead of opposing the quota reform movement.”
Some of the others – Naim, Rasel, Ashraful, Rabbul, Rabiul, Mehedi, Rashed ,and Ashik – said they were instrumental in forming the Chhatra League unit at Lalon Shah Hall.
“We had joined the movement after seeing our brothers and sisters getting beaten up. And that is why we have been thrown out,” they alleged.
However, Salahuddin claimed their eviction had nothing to do with the quota reform movement. “They have been told to leave the hall for not following organizational command. This is our internal matter.”
IU Chhatra League President Shahin was unavailable for comment over phone on the matter despite repeated attempts.
Lalon Shah Hall’s Provost Prof Mahbubur Rahman said he did not know anything about the eviction of students. “But if any of them are residential students, we will look into the matter,” he said.