50 injured in students’ clashes in Dhaka

October 26th, 2008 - 4:11 pm ICT by IANS  

Dhaka, Oct 26 (IANS) Over 50 students of rival bodies were injured in a clash at a cultural function at a university campus, adding to the tension as Bangladesh prepares for parliamentary elections in December. Leaders and activists of Islami Chhatra Shibir, student front of the Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami, the country’s largest islamist party, Saturday attacked a cultural function of Udichi Shilpi Goshthi on the Jagannath University campus.

Witnesses said that the clash took place when the Shibir activists, joined by outsiders, attacked the Udichi programme with hockey sticks, iron rods and cricket stumps, New Age newspaper said Sunday.

Awami League student wing Chhatra League leaders and activists aided by other students countered the Shibir attack.

While the Chhatra League leaders said 20 of their members were injured in the clash, Chhatra Shibir said that 30 of their members had been injured.

Both the groups equipped with sticks, cricket bats, stumps and iron rods attacked each other. They also pelted each other with stones.

University Vice-Chancellor Abu Hossain Siddique said: “The cultural programme was postponed after the clash. We are looking into what actually happened.”

The clash came even as the protests by cultural organisations continued against removal of Baul statues and sculptures on the road leading to Zia Intentional Airport.

There has been no response from the government to the demand by protesters from across the country that these statues, removed allegedly under pressure from Islamist bodies, be restored.

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