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: February 16, 2024

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances

Institution(s):Jashore University of Science and Technology

Region & Country:Southern Asia | Bangladesh

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On February 16, 2024, five members of the Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL), the student wing of the country’s ruling party the Awami League, assaulted fourth-year student Manjurul Hasan at a dormitory at Jashore University of Science and Technology (JUST).

The BCL members summoned Hasan to a room in Shaheed Masiur Rahman Hall and accused him of disrespecting JUST’s BCL branch president Sohel Rana because Hasan had worn a lungi – a long sarong-style skirt – and did not salute Rana while walking past him. The BCL members physically and verbally assaulted Hasan and left when other students intervened. Hasan was transported to a local hospital with injuries and returned to the dormitory the following afternoon. When he returned, he filed complaints at the local police station and with JUST administration.

BCL branch president Rana denied the assault and claimed that he had scolded BCL members who attempted to cause unrest in the dormitory.

The head of Shaheed Masiur Rahman Hall Tanveer Islam stated that a committee would be formed to investigate the attack.

Scholars at Risk is concerned about violent attacks by students on their peers. 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 victim, violent attacks on students undermine academic freedom and democratic society generally.

Sources:
*SAR identified this incident in data made publicly available by the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED)
https://www.ittefaq.com.bd/677885/লুঙ্গি-পরে-চলাচল-ও-ছাত্রলীগ-সভাপতিকে-সালাম-না
https://www.jagonews24.com/campus/news/923551