Three leaders of the recent quota reform movement were picked up blindfolded by members of the Detective Branch (DB) of Police and then interrogated at the DB office.
However, the trio was later released by the Detective Branch.
The leaders of the Bangladesh General Students’ Rights Protection Forum — Faruk Hasan, Nurul Haq Nur and Mohammad Rashed – were picked up from in front of Dhaka Medical College Hospital around 1:00pm when they were going towards Chankharpool after concluding a press conference on Monday morning.
Holding a press conference, Faruk Hasan, a joint convener of the forum, said, they were taken to the office of detective branch of police on Mintu Road.
“Around seven to eight motorbikes and two microbuses intercepted us in front of the Dhaka Medical College Hospital emergency gate,” said Hasan.
“The armed men, introducing themselves as DB members, picked us up showing cause of possible life threat,” he added.
Faruk Hasan also said that they were released at around 2:30pm.
Abdul Baten, Joint Commissioner of DB Police, said, “They were brought in for questioning as part of the investigation and were released.”
The three had been taken in order to scrutinise reports of violence during the protests, the police official said.
“They were called to scrutinise video footage from the attack on the VC’s house for the purposes of the investigation,” Abdul Baten concluded.
The platform Bangladesh General Students’ Right Protection Forum has urged the Dhaka University authorities and police to withdraw all cases filed against unnamed protesters within the next 2 days.
Leaders of the platform said they will again start demonstrations if the cases are not cancelled within two days.
While the quota reform protests were underway, DU authorities and police filed 4 cases over the attack on DU Vice Chancellor’s residence and other issues. The platform has urged to withdraw the cases, which accuses protesters of mayhem.
Leaders of the forum said these on Monday in a press conference held in front of the Dhaka University Central Library at around 11am.
The platform leaders have alleged that a vested quarter is trying to label them as Jamaat-Shibir activists and trying to shift the movement in some negative way.
However, three conveners of the movement, Nurul Haque Nur, Faruk Hasan and Mohammad Rashed Khan were picked up by Detective Branch officials immediately after the press conference, said chief organizer Hasan Al Mamun.
Amid speculations that they will not be release, Additional Commissioner of DB, Abdul Baten told reporters that they were taken to the DB headquartes for questioning and have been release at around 2:30pm.
The police official said that the three were brought in to be questioned about ‘evidences of violence’ during the quota reform protests in the Dhaka University campus.
In the press meet, leaders of the movement have also criticized the move to portray them as anti-Liberation forces.
“We will demonstrate again on streets if such news is circulated. They are conspiring against the central leaders of the movement. If we start protesting, there will be no escape. Different intelligence services are investigating us. They did not stop us as results were positive. The Prime Minister also accepted our demands. But in order to make it controversial, a vested quarter is trying to ruin the movement,” said the leaders in the press conference.
Additional convener of the forum, Rashed Khan said the reports published about him on the Daily Ittefaq are false.
“Ittefaq has published a report saying I am an active member of Jamaat-Shibir. The report is completely false and has ulterior motives. It said that I lived in room 505 of Surjasen Hall since 2012. But I started living there since 2013. Even my dad’s name was wrong in the report. It’s filled with false information,” said Rashed Khan.
Hasan Al Mamun, another leader of the movement said, “My father is a Freedom Fighter and I am a vice president of Mohsin Hall Chhatra League. I joined the movement under the banner of general students. If anyone doubts me, then please look into my family.”
Conveners Nurullah Nur and Farukh Ahmed were also present in the press meet.