Militants and communal groups are conducting activities at Dhaka University in full swing targeting to destabilise the government.
When the government is taking pride in containing militancy, extremists are trying to make the DU campus their fort taking the opportunity of indifference of the university authorities.
Banned militant group Hizbut Tahrir is often seen pasting posters on walls of the campus, leaflets in Madhur Canteen and the street walls with a call for militancy to undermine the government terming it “Atheist and Kafer,” and to establish Islamic ‘Khilafat’ in the country. DUCSU leaders and conscious students expressed anxiety and fear over the situation and called on the authorities to take initiatives.
Some left leaning organizations and DUCSU VP Nurul Haque Nur allegedly back them (Shibir, Isha Chhatra Andolon) secretly.
Chhatra Shibir, Hizbut Tahrir and extremist communal group activists are infiltrating other student organisations as well as taking part in different movements created in the name of general students, only to spread and enforce their own subversive ideals, sources from different political and independent student bodies told Bangladesh Post on condition of anonymity.
Leaders of several student organisations have alleged that Shibir and other communal group members are instigating factional feuds inside their respective parties after infiltrating their ranks. They alleged that Shibir activists joined different ranks of the Bangladesh Sadharon Chhatra Odhikar Sangrakkhan Parishad which carried out the quota reform movement last year. They have also infiltrated some left-leaning student bodies and social organisations in disguise; and are using identities of those organisations to actively carry out their anti-state activities.
Alongside, another communal extremist group, the Hizbut Tahrir, conducts its ill-politics on campus with posters and banners full of extreme messages ‘urging youths to come under their banner to wipe out the government and democracy through militancy.’ A source said, Hizbut Tahrir has made strong position strong in DU IBA hostel.
Some IBA teachers and students were arrested by law enforcement agencies at different times. But in recent times have reportedly become active suddenly in full swing. Apart from them, Islami Sasontontro Andolon Bangladesh and Khelafat Majlish are also found to be conducting their activities openly.
A BCL leader, wishing not to be named, told Bangladesh Post, “Communal groups using the opportunity of absence of mainstream political party activities, like those by Bangladesh Chhatra League, have weakened in the University and the halls as its leaders have failed to announce hall committees as yet.”
He, however, opined that many BCL leaders and activists have lost interest for absence of hall committees. Dhaka University called the ‘political ground’ of the country, has a glorious history and tradition of student politics, as DU students have mainly led most of the political movements having a vast influence on the citizens.
Thus, communal and extremist groups are trying their best to create a strong base in Dhaka University to spread their ideas and militancy.
DUCSU, on 26 September this year, banned communal politics on campus, and urged the University authorities to take initiative to resist communal politics, but the administration is yet to take any measures.
Notably, DUCSU VP Nurul Haque Nur disagreed on the decision to ban religious-based politics on campus, and opined that religion-based politics is not a problem at all, but that no communal and militant group could conduct politics on campus.
A number of DU students and political leaders condemned the VP for taking part in religious politics while saying, Dhaka University is for progressive politics, not for communal activities.
Moreover, the Chhatra Shibir was banned at DU by Dhaka University Paribesh Sangsad unanimously to prevent its extremist political agenda on the campus for what they said its pursuing communal politics and its role (then Islami Chhatra Sangha) in the killing of intellectuals during the War of Liberation.
A large number of intellectuals killed at the time belonged to the Dhaka University. The ICS was floated in 1977. After a long break, ICS made the attempt to get back on campus taking the chance of having no effective opposition party. Sources said, on getting the chance, ICS instructed them to engage in particular student organizations like the Chhatra League and left-leaning bodies to hold vital posts in central and hall committees.
Some of the ICS activists have already taken their ‘covert positions’ in the mainstream student organisations like the Chhatra League in both the central and hall committees and are operating un-recognized activities like taking illegal toll money from university’ shops in the name of mainstream political parties.
An administrative official of Dhaka University, on anonymity, told Bangladesh Post, ‘’we have information of secret activities of communal extremist groups like the Chhatra Shibir and the Hizbut Tahrir. We are very aware of them. The Dhaka university is not for any extremist’ politics, but for progressive democracy.’’
Many communal organizations also play covert political roles by conducting “Dawat, call to join them”. They are Islami Chhatra Khelafat Bangladesh, Islami Sasontontro Andolon Bangladesh, Khelafat Majlish, Bangladesh Islami Chhatra Majlish, Islami Chhatra Samaj, Jamiat-E-Talaba-E-Arabia Bangladesh and Islami Chhtra Shibir(ICS).
Bangladesh Chhatra League DU chapter president, Sanjit Chandra Das, could not be reached on phone despite several attempts for comment in this regard.
DUCSU Member and former BCL central leader Tanvir Hasan Saikot said, “University authorities are indifferent about containing such extremist activities.”
He, however, questioned how they could place posters on Madhur Canteen, and campus walls. Dhaka University Vice Chancellor, Professor Akhtaruzzaman denied ‘Proctorial Team’ failure to resist Hizbut Tahrir and communal group activities.
He said, “We are fully aware about containing militancy, Dhaka University has a glorious political history and tradition. No one can spoil the peaceful atmosphere through spreading extremist speeches.”
Mehedi Hasan, a resident of Bangabandhu Hall told Bangladesh Post, ‘‘We don’t want to see any further extremists activities like those in 2013 and before, the Dhaka University is a place for liberal and democratic political practices, not for any extremist outfit, the concerned authorities should be aware about resisting them timely.’’
Answering queries, Dhaka University Proctor, AKM Golam Rabbani said, ‘‘We will investigate who is putting up Hizbut Tahrir posters in Madhur canteen, Dhaka University is not for any communal politics, we will firmly take action against any anti-liberation group, if any, trying to create chaos and militancy among general students.’’