On October 9, 2023, a clash between members of the Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL), the student wing of the ruling party (Awami League), and Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD), the student wing of the main opposition party Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), led to the injuries of three students at the Government Janata College in Dumki, Patuakhali.
The clash occurred at a reception ceremony to welcome new first year students. There were conflicting reports about what led to the clash, which was apparently a struggle between the two groups for dominance on campus. According to some reports, the two groups each yelled slogans to welcome the new students in a competition that turned violence. According to other reports, BCL activists attempted to prevent JCD activists from entering the campus, triggering the violence.
The clash injured three students: two members of BCL and one member of JCD.
Police intervened to bring the situation under control and arrested Shahadat Hossain, a JCD leader.
Scholars at Risk is concerned about violent attacks on campus by students against other students for their affiliation with a student group. Students must refrain from violence, especially on campus, and respect the right to freedom of association and freedom of expression, and university authorities must take reasonable measures to ensure safe living conditions for students. In addition to harm to the immediate victims, violent attacks on students undermine academic freedom and democratic society generally.
*SAR identified this incident in data made publicly available by the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED)