Ex-BCL leaders recount ‘violent politics’ of Jamaat-e-Islami’s student wing

Former leaders of the Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL), who survived brutal attacks, recounted the “violent politics” of Islami Chhatra Shibir, the student wing of the Jamaat-e-Islami.

Recounting an attack carried out by the Islami Chhatra Shibir on May 15, 1999, Abul Kalam Azad, a former Chittagong University BCL leader, said that “it was still a nightmare”.

“As I left the exam hall on that day, an armed gang of Shibir militants waylaid me and whisked me away by brandishing weapons. They dragged me to a brick kiln and beat me up mercilessly,” Azad said at a webinar held recently.

“A senior student rushed to save me and begged the attackers to spare me. As I tried to flee, the Shibir activists dragged me back and nearly smashed my head with bricks,” he recalled.

Diagonised with haemorrhage, Azad had to spend two long years in treatment in Dhaka and Chennai.

The former BCL leader says he still suffers from mental trauma even after 23 years since the attack and has to consult doctors.

Tonmoy Ahmed, a former Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) student, has 130 stitches all over his body after he and his friend were mercilessly hacked with machetes near his village home during Eid.

“Amar desh, the radical mouthpiece, published a cooked up story implicating me and my fellow junior at BUET Arif Raihan Dweep for beating up an imam at a mosque on the campus who supplied food to a group of Islamists. In reality, we had just complained to university authorities about how an imam can be allowed to serve meals to radicals when the meals were meant for university students,” recalls Tonmoy.

A few days after that Amar Desh report, Dweep was hacked by a fellow student in broad daylight in his dormitory, he said.

“The attacker Mesbahuddin confessed before the magistrate that provocative sermons from a preacher invoked him to kill Dweep.”

Following 84 days of a battle between life and death, Dweep succumbed to his injuries, Tonmoy added.

The Jamaat-e-Islami and Islami Chhatra Shibir have been associated with the most brutal form of assassination — slashing their victims to death with sharp machetes or smashing their heads with bricks.

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