In Bangladesh, violent activities have always taken place whenever there was an opinion going against the ruling party. According to a report of Ain o Salish Kendra, 193 political incidents took place from January to November this year, and 2,457 people were injured and 38 died as a result.
One of the main components of democratic value is tolerance. It means that not everybody will think alike and there will be different opinions – and ideally, instead of fighting each other, both parties will nurture a mutual respect.
It is very unfortunate that tolerance against different opinions is currently missing in the country. The attacks on Dhaka University Central Students' Union (DUCSU) vice president Nurul Haq Nur is just a reflection of that.
BUET student Abrar was beaten to death a few days back. The attack on Nur is a repetition of such violent events.
Nur's assault on Sunday is very regrettable, and such uncouth acts cannot occur in any civilised society.
It is really shameful for us that the administrative body of the University of Dhaka is dormant in stopping such incidents. The Vice-chancellor and the proctor are doing nothing. They are just acting like sycophants of the ruling government.
The Closed Circuit (CC) camera footages of the whole DUCSU building mysteriously went missing on December 22, 2019. No one knows who has taken the CPU and the monitor which were used to monitor and save the footages from the office of Senior Administrative Officer of DUCSU building. The officer claimed that he has no idea about the missing devices as he went to inform the Proctor about the attack brought on DUCSU's vice president Nur. When he returned to his office, he found his door lock broken.
Some have complained that Nur brought outsiders to the university premises. But I want to remind that Dhaka University is an open place and runs on the taxpayers' money and everyone can pay a visit here. We have seen many processions organised by different organisations taking place at this campus, and many of them are not concerning the university at all.
The vice-president of DUCSU is a very big post and the person representing the post has been elected by general students. If he brings someone as his guest, the others need to trust him. If there is any problem regarding the person, the complaint also must go to the VP, but no one can beat anyone at any means.
Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) or Muktijuddha Mancha cannot decide who will enter the university premises and who will not. Because they do not hold any authority to impose that. Only the university itself can decide such a thing. For clarification, there is no law in the university act mentioning who can enter the university premises and who cannot.
Even then, if the university administration issues a notice for VP Nur, and if he neglects that afterwards, he would then be held accountable. But till now, according to my knowledge, the university administration has not issued any such notice addressing the DUCSU VP.
No other VP of DUCSU has ever been treated the way everyone is treating Nur. On the contrary, his predecessors, elected through a democratic process, were respected by the students of the university. And it is very unfortunate to see Nur in this complicated situation just because he possesses a different opinion.
There are law enforcers in our country and no one has given BCL any authority to take things into their own hands. These things should stop and the proper authority must come forward to control their student body so that the students can move freely.
Robaet Ferdous is a professor at the department of Mass Communication & Journalism, University of Dhaka