On March 23, at least 20 Leftist students, including Masud Rana, Central Committee President of Samajtantrik Chhatra Front, were injured in an alleged attack by Bangladesh Chhatra League. The Leftist students in Bangladesh were protesting against the upcoming visit of PM Modi on March 26-27. Chhatra Odhikar Parishad students also burnt effigies of PM Modi. PM Modi’s visit to Bangladesh comes when the neighbouring country is celebrating 50 year of independence.
The protests were being held as the Left-Leaning students were not happy with PM Modi’s “extreme anti-Muslim religious communalism and pogrom in Gujarat.” The protesters further alleged that during discussions over bilateral issues, Bangladesh’s interests are being left unresolved by India. They also alleged that the National Register of Citizens in Assam is being used to put pressure on Bangladesh, and India gets everything in its interest by arm-twisting Bangladesh.
11 of the injured, including Rana, were admitted to Dhaka Medical College Hospital for treatment. In a press note released from the left-leaning organizations, it was mentioned that except Masud, all ten were seriously injured. According to Salman Siddiqui, president Samajtantrik Chhatra Front’s Dhaka University unit, Pragati Tapan Barma, general secretary of the unit, was one of the seriously injured.
The Daily Star quoted Al Kaderi Joy, convener of Progressive Students’ Alliance, saying that several Chhatra League leaders and activists had attacked them with sticks, brickbats, and broken branches. He said, “We had a scheduled protest program against Narendra Modi’s visit to Bangladesh, and as part of it, we were supposed to burn an effigy of the Indian prime minister. Several Chhatra League leaders and activists attacked us with sticks, brickbats, and broken branches.”
He further said that after the first attack, they stood there, but the Chhatra League came back and attacked again. “Around 20 of our leaders and activists were injured,” Joy added. It was alleged that the members of the Chhatra League snatched away the effigy of PM Modi.
Chhatra League denied allegations
Lekhak Bhattacharjee, General Secretary, Chhatra League, denied the allegations and said they were fighting among themselves. He said, “Members of a leftist group fought among themselves on the campus and in the process, some of our men were injured while caught between them. We have nothing to do with the attack.”
Several Journalists were injured
Five journalists, Rubel Rashid, photographer of the Daily Desh Rupantor, and Jibon Ahmed of Daily Manab Zamin, Kazi Salauddin Raju of Zuma Press, Jabed Hasnain Chowdhury of the United News of Bangladesh, and freelance journalist ‘Himu’, were also injured during the violence.