Almost every public university in Bangladesh has a ‘torture cell‘. This torture cell is often found on various floors of student halls. The ‘General Room’ or political rooms are also a kind of ‘torture cell’. Beyond this, torture is carried out in TV rooms, guestrooms or common rooms.
When we were students, these were torture cells. Most of the students who were tortured at that time were leaders of the opposition and left organizations. It has now become ‘universal’ in the course of time. Oppression can come down to any number of students who disagree on Facebook or who do not regularly participate in party meetings. Many students have to skip classes, exams for fear of this persecution.
Just a few days ago at a talk show on a private TV channel, some students asked why they had to pay unpaid labor for a place to come to university. Expressing inability to pay it continues to be oppression. What are we doing as teachers to stop this? I could not answer.
There are many reasons why you can’t. Because, with the power we are burning. The governance of Bangladesh now stands on a culture of fear. There is no redemption element in it. The spread of fear is ubiquitous today. And challenged it and disagreed. The most capable weapon against fear is dissent. Because, the presence of effective disagreements can endanger the culture of fear like a house of cards. For this reason, accusations of ‘treason’, ‘spoilage of image’ are increasing. Dissenting oppression has become one of the ideals of the authoritarian state.
This is not the first case of torture, even though the issue of student torture has been discussed in the murder of student Abara Fahad. Earlier, there have been several incidents of harassment by leaders and activists of the governing party’s student body at various universities. Last year, Ehsan was beaten by a group of BCL leaders over a calculator at Dhaka University’s Salimullah Hall.
It was not confined to the ‘minor’ beating incident that occurred at Harahamsai as a student, with Omar Farooq and his friends being beaten with a rod by Ehsan. During this time, Ehsan suffered a serious eye injury and became unconscious. Take him to Dhaka Medical. They were brought back to the torture room. Ehsan got out of there somehow. He was called a ‘camp’ to justify the torture of Ehsan, though no evidence was found. Attempts to make him a ‘supporter of the camp’ even in the event of Abrar. Who made the responsibility of almost blinding or killing someone when they camped? When did the BCL take this responsibility?
Earlier, a student at Jahangirnagar University was thrown from the roof of the hall due to the student leaders being ‘disobedient’. A few days ago, a slogan came from the student march of the university – ‘Take a left, slaughter one another’.
In all public universities, many students have been beaten by the BCL at different times. Chhatra League leaders beat the students whenever trivial incidents occurred. There have been incidents of stabbing and breaking of hands and feet in such a way as to keep the hair big, not salute the student leaders. Many leaders of the BCL hall and university committee have been accused of raising their hand in words. In the halls of the university, it has become normal for senior students to take the responsibility of teaching newcomers to be beaten and ragged at the hands of senior students.
The ruling party’s student body fears that they continue to occupy their territory, and the new rule is given to the newcomers in the same education. At the same time, there are two or four movements allocated for the leaders and activists of the left organizations. The students are living in the halls of the occupied halls of fear and panic. Therefore, extraordinary students are often afraid to come to their own demanding procession. But sometimes there are times when a just and justified movement breaks that chain of fear. At that time, the presence of students living in the city definitely made the ruling a breeze.
Not only the boys but also the girls in the halls. There is also a political room. However, it is mainly in the process of being forced out of the hall by the ‘Shibir’ tactics when the students are persecuted and refuse to go to the party program. This section is also shown as fear for anyone not to express any kind of protest against the Chhatra League or the Awami League.
What is the role of hall authority? In almost every case, hall authorities claim they know nothing about these matters. Don’t know why? There a student was tortured, killed for four or five hours, no one knows why. As a resident teacher in a residential hall of students, I can hardly believe that one of those things happened, but none of you reported or had any chance of getting the news. Accepted as a colleague, you didn’t know. But after knowing why CCTV footage was suspected of being allowed to be released? These torture cells are living day after day with your deliberate inadequacy, irresponsibility. You approve of these. University authorities have to take responsibility for this torture cell and take responsibility for these deaths. But what are we cultivating these murdered students?
Jobida Nasreen: Teacher, Department of Anthropology, Dhaka University.