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Sunday, January 24, 2016, Magh 11, 1422 BS, Rabius Sani 12, 1437 Hijri

Jahangirnagar teacher comes under assault
Published :Sunday, 24 January, 2016,  Time : 12:00 AM  View Count : 56

There can be no second thoughts on the matter. These criminals must pay for their act. The fact is that a teacher of Jahangirnagar University has come under assault by some unruly students. His only fault was that he tried to rescue a young woman who was being harassed by these students or, more appropriately, perverts masquerading as students. Professor Mojahidul Islam of the department of history was certainly doing the honourable thing of asking these young criminals to lay off. And he had all the right in the world to do so, for one of the young men was then trying to pull off the scarf of the young woman while his two accomplices were busy beating up a man who had been accompanying her. But even the fact that it was a teacher who was berating them over their shameful act did not deter them. When the teacher made it known that he was an academic, one of them remarked dismissively, 'So what?'
And there comes our collective shame. The latest incident is but one more questionable feather in the cap of the Chhatra League. In recent months, its reputation has become increasingly tainted with all these incidents of its activists harassing women and visitors on campuses, engaging in tender-related violence and getting involved in factional violence. A particular reason behind the proliferation of such incidents is that little or no action has been taken by the authorities against those who have been perpetrating them. All that citizens have been told, after every such incident, has fallen into a predictable pattern. There have either been statements by senior leaders of the Chhatra League about looking into the issues or there have been straight denials of the criminals being at all part of the organization. In some instances, such wayward young men have been expelled from the organization. But where action by the authorities, in terms of bringing these elements to justice through a full application of the law, is concerned, that has hardly happened. The result has been obvious. The incident at Jahangirnagar University is a sign of it.
The leading lights of the government must realize that such behaviour by their young followers in the Chhatra League and Jubo League has been denting their reputation for long. Their proximity to power, in the sense of the ruling Awami League being their parent organization, has emboldened them in their misbehaviour with others. It is an absolute shame when young women are not safe on campuses and that too at the hands of ruling party supporters. These supporters should have set a good example of ensuring security for everyone, especially because they are affiliated to the ruling party. It could have been their decent behaviour which would have gone a long way to add to their reputation as an organization which has played a historic role in Bangladesh's history. Sadly enough, that has not been the case. In more instances than one, the scandalous behaviour of the wayward elements of the Chhatra League has been overlooked. Such pampering surely does not enhance the prestige of those who govern.
We ask that the young men who assaulted the young woman and the person accompanying her be punished severely. Their criminality assumes even more serious proportions when it is the matter of a teacher coming under attack. Let there be no excuses. Let us not be told yet once again that the incident was a mere misunderstanding. We have had a little too many of such misunderstandings.

Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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