Former Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) leaders have recounted the "violent politics" of Islami Chhatra Shibir, the student wing of Jamaat e Islami, on university campuses.
Three former BCL leaders, who "survived the brutal attacks of Islami Chhatra Shibir," shared their experiences at a webinar Tuesday.
Abul Kalam Azad, a former Chittagong University BCL leader, said: "On May 15, 1999, as I left the exam hall, an armed gang of Shibir activists waylaid me and whisked me away by brandishing weapons. They dragged me to a brick kiln and beat me up mercilessly."
"A senior student rushed to save me and begged the attackers to spare me. As I tried to flee, the Shibir activists dragged me back and almost smashed my head with bricks."
Diagnosed with haemorrhage, Azad had to spend two years in treatment in Dhaka and India's Chennai.
"I still suffer from mental trauma 23 years after the attack and have to consult doctors," Azad said.
Tonmoy Ahmed, a former Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) student, has 130 stitches all over his body after he and his friend were mercilessly hacked with machetes near his village home during Eid.
"Amar Desh published a cooked-up story implicating me and Arif Raihan Dweep, my fellow junior at BUET, for beating up an imam at a mosque on the campus who supplied food to a group of Islamists. In reality, we had just complained to the university about how an imam can be allowed to serve meals to radicals when the meals were meant for the students."
A few days after the Amar Desh report, Dweep was hacked by a fellow student in broad daylight in his dormitory, said Tonmoy. "The attacker Meshbahuddin confessed before the magistrate that provocative sermons from a preacher invoked him to kill Dweep."
Following 84 days of a battle between life and death Dweep succumbed to his injuries, Tonmoy added.
"Months later when I was at my village home at Palashbari on Eid vacation, venturing out with friends at night, a microbus bearing Dhaka Metro number plate flanked by some bike riders emerged near a deserted market and attacked me," recalled Tonmoy.
Tonmoy was rushed to a hospital where he underwent surgery. Even after he survived the surgery, attempts were on to eliminate him.
A Shibir activist of the Rangpur Medical University unit was picked up when trying to gather information about his ward, he added.