Muktijuddho Mancha, quota reformists face-off

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Both organizations filed primary complaints against each other with Shahbagh police station

An aggressive face off between Muktijuddho Mancha and Bangladesh General Students’ Rights Protection Council (BGSRPC) activists has flared up at the Dhaka University campus.

The face off began with both organizations calling for separate programs at the same venue at the same time on Wednesday.

BGSRPC, the organization which spearheaded the quota reform movement, planned to hold a rally protesting the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) of the Indian government at the base of the Raju Memorial Sculpture on campus around midday.

Muktijuddho Mancha also called for a protest rally demanding Dhaka University Central Students Union (Ducsu) Vice President (VP) Nurul Haque Nur’s removal from the Ducsu post on allegations of graft.

Around 60 activists of Muktijuddho Mancha, led by its President Aminul Islam Bulbul and General Secretary Al Mamun, took position near the venue in advance.

As soon as the BGSRPC procession led by Nur reached the area, Muktijuddho Mancha activists started chanting slogans and moved towards Raju Memorial Sculpture, while Nur supporters chanted heated counter slogans.

Some members of the university’s proctorial team asked both the groups to leave the spot but none paid any heed to their call, eyewitnesses claimed.

After staying there for nearly half an hour, Nur and his fellow activists brought out a procession from the spot which paraded through DU campus, Central Shaheed Minar, and Doyel Chattar, ending at the Teacher Student Centre (TSC).

Over 100 Mancha activists, armed with iron rods, sticks, and bamboo, followed Nur’s procession  to the Shaheed Minar and went back to Madhur Canteen afterwards.

Muktijuddho Mancha activists left the spot, complying with the request of two assistant proctors, not to stage any protest at the base of Raju Memorial Sculpture.Dhaka University Central Students Union (Ducsu) Vice President (VP) Nurul Haque Nur speaks to the media on Wednesday, December 18, 2019 | Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka TribuneTwo cases filed

The Mancha activists again followed Nur and his protesters to Shahbagh police station. 

Nur filed a complaint with the Shahbagh police station against 30 to 35 activists of the Muktijuddho Mancha, seeking security from the law enforcement agency. Al Mamun, general secretary of Muktijuddho Mancha, also filed a counter case with the same police station against Nur.

Shahbagh police station Officer-in-Charge (OC) Abul Hasan, said both the organizations filed primary complaints. 

As it is a university matter, they would take further steps after talking with the university proctorial team, the OC added.

On Tuesday, at least 15 people were injured in a clash between the activists of the two organizations after some activists of the Mancha swooped on the BGSRPC activists, when the latter gathered at the base of Raju Memorial Sculpture for a rally protesting the Citizenship Amendment Act of India.