Bangladesh Chhatra League

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Bangladesh Chhatra League

বাংলাদেশ ছাত্রলীগ
AbbreviationBCL
PresidentMd. Rezwanul Huq Chowdhury Shovon[1]
General SecretaryGolam Rabbani
FounderSheikh Mujibur Rahman
FoundedJanuary 4, 1948
Headquarters23, Bangabondhu Avenue, Gulistan, Dhaka- 1000
Bangladesh Awami League
Party flag
বাংলাদেশ ছাত্রলীগের পতাকা.svg
Website
bsl.org.bd

The Bangladesh Chhatra League (Bengali: বাংলাদেশ ছাত্রলীগ; translation: Bangladesh Students' League; abbr. BCL), formerly known as the East Pakistan Student League, is a students' political organisation in Bangladesh, founded by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on 4 January 1948. BCL is reportedly the student wing of the Bangladesh Awami League.[2]

Current president Rezwanul Huq Chowdhury Shovon was elected on 26 July 2015 at the National Conference of BCL. Golam Rabbani is the Chhatra League's current elected general secretary.[3]

History[edit]

On 4 January 1948, the East Pakistan Muslim Chhatra League was established by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at a meeting in Fazlul Huq Hall at the University of Dhaka. The organisation's name was later changed[when?] to the Bangladesh Chhatra League. Naeemuddin Ahmed was the first convener of BCL,[3] while Khalek Newaz Khan was the founder general secretary of the Chhatra League.[citation needed]

During the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War, members of the Chhatra League were recruited into the Mujib Bahini (also known as the Bengal Liberation Force),[citation needed] an armed group trained by India's foreign intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing. However, their exact involvement in the war is disputed, with Zafrullah Chowdhury stating, "The Mujib Bahini did not fight the liberation war."[4] In 2014, A. K. Khandker was sued for accusing the Mujib Bahini of hooliganism and looting during the war in his book in his book 1971: Bhetore Baire.[5]

Violence[edit]

Murder of Biswajit Das[edit]

Biswajit Das, a 24-year-old tailor in Dhaka, Bangladesh, was murdered on 9 December 2012 by members of the Bangladesh Chhatra League who mistook Das for an opposition supporter. Das was chased and attacked with machetes, iron bars, and hockey sticks.[6] He was taken to Mitford Hospital, where he shortly died of his wounds.[7] Twenty-one BCL activists were found guilty of murder on 18 December 2013. Eight were sentenced to death and thirteen were sentenced to life in prison.[8] Only eight of the twenty-one defendants were in custody at the time of the sentence, with the remaining thirteen tried in absentia.[9][10]

2018 conflicts[edit]

In March 2018, a student of Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (SUST) suffered a bullet wound during a clash between two BCL factions.[11] Reportedly, two factions of the SUST unit of BCL, led by vice-presidents of the unit, had battled over establishing supremacy on the campus. A group of BCL men, led by Akando and colleagues, attacked another man in a restaurant near the university. The man responded with a gunshot which injured another student.[11]

In July 2018, protests and counter-violence erupted at various universities, particularly Rajshahi University, over the quota reform movement, which sought to change the quota system that allocated 56% of Bangladesh government jobs to specific classes. In a protest procession on 2 July 2018, quota-reform movement leader Toriqul Islam and 15 others were attacked with sticks, bamboo poles, a dagger and a hammer. Islam's leg was broken as a result of the attack. A correspondent from The Daily Star filmed the incident and the newspaper reported that it had identified eleven of the attackers, stating that ten were members of the BCL.[12][13] Video and photos of the attack circulated on social media, prompting criticism over police and university administration inaction.[12]

Dhaka bus protests[edit]

On 29 July 2018, two students were killed and a further twelve people were injured when a bus hit a bus stop in Dhaka. Protests began shortly afterwards, demanding better road safety. During the protests, BCL members were alleged to have been involved in attacks on protesters and a motorcycle belonging to a BCL member was reportedly set on fire.[14] On 5 August 2018, a number of photojournalists were attacked, allegedly by members of the BCL wearing helmets. Law enforcement officers were present but did not make any attempt to stop the attack.[15][16]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Bangladesh Student League president Rezwanul, general secretary Rabbani". Prothom Alo. Retrieved 31 July 2018.
  2. ^ "Bangladesh students attacked during Dhaka protest".
  3. ^ a b "History of BCL is history of our motherland: Syed Ashraf". Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS). Retrieved 25 July 2015.
  4. ^ Ahmed, Taib; Islam, Khadimul (December 16, 2014). "'Mujib Bahini didn't fight liberation war'". The New Age. Retrieved May 21, 2016.
  5. ^ "AK Khandker sued for 'Mujib Bahini's looting' claim". The Daily Star. September 10, 2014. Retrieved May 21, 2016.
  6. ^ "21 BCL men indicted". The Daily Star. 3 June 2013. Retrieved 2017-08-03.
  7. ^ "Eight to die for Biswajit murder, 13 get life". bdnews24.com. 18 December 2013. Retrieved 2017-08-03.
  8. ^ "Bangladesh sentences eight students to death for murder". LiveMint. Agence France-Presse. 18 December 2013. Retrieved 2017-08-03.
  9. ^ "Bangladesh sentences eight students to death for murder". BBC News. 18 December 2013. Retrieved 2017-01-29.
  10. ^ "8 Awami activists get death for murder of Hindu man". The Hindu. PTI. 18 December 2013. Retrieved 2017-01-29.
  11. ^ a b "Student shot during BCL infighting at SUST". The Independent (Bangladesh). 21 March 2018. Retrieved 16 August 2018.
  12. ^ a b "Rajshahi police saw nothing!". Daily Star. 9 July 2018. Retrieved 16 August 2018.
  13. ^ "Injured quota protester Tariqul moved to Dhaka". Dhaka Tribune. 8 July 2018. Retrieved 16 August 2018.
  14. ^ "Minute by minute: Saturday's protest ends with violence in Jigatola". Dhaka Tribune. 2018-08-04. Retrieved 2018-08-04.
  15. ^ "5 photojournalists hurt in 'BCL attack'". The Daily Star. 2018-08-05. Retrieved 2018-08-05.
  16. ^ Independent Online Desk. "6 photojournalists injured in attacks by 'BCL'". The Independent.