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Tuesday, 13 November, 2001, 17:30 GMT
Student clashes in Bangladesh
Students set fire to junk
Campus violence in Bangladesh is commonplace
By Waliur Rahman in Dhaka

The student wing of Bangladesh's ruling party has taken over two dormitories in the country's largest university after trading gunfire with rivals.

Dhaka University students say several students were injured in the fighting over the dormitories.

The latest violence in the campus followed the sacking of vice-chancellors of three universities, including the Dhaka University, by the government late on Monday

All the dormitories of the Dhaka University were under control of the Awami League's student wing - Bangladesh Chhatra League - before last month's general election.

But when the BNP-led four-party alliance won the elections, the Chhatra League left the dormitories.

The BNP's student wing - the Chhatra Dal - then took over the halls of residence.

Armed raid

Armed members of Chhatra League made an abortive bid to recapture the Jagannath Hall dormitory on Tuesday.

The police intervened and then Chhatra Dal members drove the League cadres away with some more firing.

Bangladesh policemen
Policemen guard Bangladeshi campus
Later on, the Chhatra Dal also took over the Zahurul Haq Hall, which was the last strong-hold of the League in the campus.

Student wings of the country's major parties have traditionally captured all university campuses following the ascent of their party to power.

In recent years, the use of firearms has led to violence, death and injury.

Bangladesh's Education Minister, Dr Osman Faruque, admitted the situation in the universities was very complex.

But he told the BBC that the police have been asked to flush out armed thugs if they were found to be involved in capturing the campuses.

The violence came a day after the sacking of the university's vice-chancellor along with the vice-chancellors of two other universities - all of whom were appointed by the previous Awami League government.

See also:

24 Apr 98 | S/W Asia
Armed police guard Dhaka university
28 Feb 00 | South Asia
Women students fight back
30 Jun 99 | South Asia
Death threat for Bangladesh sculptor
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