SAR’s Academic Freedom Monitoring Project investigates and reports attacks on higher education with the aim of raising awareness, generating advocacy, and increasing protection for scholars, students, and academic communities. Learn more.

Date of Incident: August 19, 2022

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances

Institution(s):University of Rajshahi

Region & Country:Southern Asia | Bangladesh

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On August 19, 2022, on the University Of Rajshahi campus, members of a student group known as the Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) assaulted Samsul Islam, a fourth-year student, reportedly beating him with a rod in a locked room over the course of three hours, and stealing 20,000 Takas (about U.S. $200) from him.

Bhaskar Saha, a General Secretary of the university’s BCL chapter, is accused of leading the attack with two other assailants. Islam stated that Saha threatened to kill him if he told journalists or the police about the attack. Five days after the incident, Islam visited a hospital and learned that his eardrum had been ruptured. The motivation for the incident is unclear, however, it is part of a reported pattern of BCL members assaulting students. Saha denied the allegations.

University officials organized a three-person committee to investigate the incident.

Scholars at Risk is concerned about violent attacks by students on other students. State and university authorities must take reasonable measures to ensure safe living conditions for students, and students must refrain from violence. In addition to harm to the immediate victims, violent attacks on students undermine academic freedom and democratic society generally.