On May 6, 2023, members of the Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL), the student wing of the ruling party, the Awami League, reportedly attacked members of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD), a student group affiliated with the BNP political party, on the University of Dhaka’s (DU) campus. Five people were injured and at least two students were hospitalized.
JCD members were handing out flowers to prospective students, who were taking university entrance exams, when BCL members attacked them. According to reports, JCD members had finished handing out flowers when BCL members arrived on a motorbike and began to beat them with sticks.
Tanveer Hasan, General Secretary of DU’s BCL branch denied the attack and stated that BCL members were working at the university’s student support center at the time of the incident. He accused the attack of stemming from an internal dispute within JCD.
Scholars at Risk is concerned by reports of students violently attacking other students for their affiliation with another student group. Students must refrain from violence, especially on campus, and respect the right to freedom of association and freedom of expression. In addition to harm to the immediate victims, violent attacks on campus undermine academic freedom and democratic society generally.