A Rajshahi court has acquitted all the accused in the cases filed over an armed attack on Rajshahi University (RU) students in 2014, who were demonstrating for cancellation of increased fees and evening courses.
Rajshahi Metropolitan Additional Sessions Judge Enayet Kabir Sarkar on Tuesday delivered the verdict as the accused persons were not found guilty.
“All the accused have been acquitted because of weak witnesses in the cases. The plaintiff had 22 witnesses. But only the plaintiff testified in the case. The remaining 21 were unable to strongly testify in the court. This is why, the court has acquitted the accused from the charge sheet,” said Additional Public Prosecutor Siraji Shawkat Salehin.
On February 2, 2014, police and Bangladesh Chhatra League men launched a surprise attack on thousands of protesting students, leaving more than 100 protesters injured. Of them some 50 sustained bullet injuries.
Reacting to the attack, some agitated students vandalised the RU’s Jubery Bhaban, academic buildings and residential halls.
The next day, the university authorities, police and the BCL filed two cases each with Motihar police station, accusing 475 persons – of them, 370 were unidentified.
Later, the BCL withdrew their cases.
On May 7, 2017, after investigating the four cases filed by the police and the university, Inspector of Metropolitan Police (Detective Branch) Abdul Hannan, also the investigating officer of the case, submitted the charge sheet to the court.
The charge sheet included the names of 34 students along with 16 RU Pragatisheel Chhatra Jote activists, former Shibir RU chapter President Ashraful Alam Emon and former RU BCL chapter Vice-president Delwar Hossain Dils.
Later, on May 29, the court framed the charge sheet against the accused. Some 22 witnesses testified in favour of the plaintiff. Upon hearing both the parties, the court set the day for the verdict.