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All because of stalking

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A policeman fires tear gas canister to disperse clashing students of two private universities at Banani area in the capital Saturday. Photo: The Daily Star

AT least 50 students and 10 policemen were injured and over 100 vehicles and 15 buildings were vandalised when students of two private universities at Banani in the capital Saturday clashed over the alleged stalking of a female student.

The authorities closed Primeasia University for an indefinite period while Southeast University was closed for two days following the clash.

The clash began on Kamal Ataturk Avenue around 2:00pm, spread to the surrounding neighbourhood and ended around 5:30pm.

Students of Primeasia University and Southeast University chased one another with sticks through different streets in Banani, hurling brickbats and turning the area into a battlefield.

Khandker Lutful Kabir, deputy commissioner of Gulshan division of Dhaka Metropolitan Police, said several hundred students of the two universities got involved in the clash over an alleged incident of a student of adjacent Southeast University stalking a female student of Primeasia University.

He claimed that the stalking incident led to an exchange of heated words between the students of the universities. They got involved in scuffles which soon expanded into all-out violence.

Lutful told The Daily Star that the students were locked in clashes on the main thoroughfare and side streets between Kakoli intersection and Kamal Ataturk Avenue.

He said as the students chased one another, they vandalised both the universities, around 100 vehicles (mostly cars), and roadside shops in the area.

Witnesses said police lobbed around 30 teargas canisters and charged truncheons on the students as they took to the streets in front of their universities and pelted brickbats at the law enforcers.

The situation finally calmed down around 5:30pm. Police said traffic movement had resumed on those streets.

Undergoing treatment at Dhaka Medical College Hospital, Ashiquzzaman, 24, of Primeasia University said a brickbat hit him on the forehead during the clash.

Although none of the students could specify the cause behind the incident, students of both universities claimed themselves to be innocent.

Several students of Primeasia University told The Daily Star that some students of Southeast University were stalking one of their fellow students while the students of Southeast University raised the same allegation against the students of Primeasia University.

Contacted, Giash Uddin Ahmad, vice-chancellor of Primeasia University, said the university authorities had decided to close the institution for an indefinite period following the violence.

Southeast University has been closed for two days, said Anowar Hossain, the VC of the institution.

Both the VCs expressed their ignorance about the reason behind the violence and said the matter would be investigated.

The VCs told The Daily Star that they would sit together soon to take measures so that such incidents did not recur.

Gulshan police last night filed a case accusing 2,000 unnamed students and outsiders in this connection.


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