Neither Dhaka University authorities nor police could trace the computer that recorded CCTV footage and its monitor in a week after those went missing from the administrative office of Dhaka University Central Students Union during series of violence on December 22.
The ruling party-backed Bangladesh Chhatra League and pro-government student platform Muktijuddha Mancha allegedly carried out the attacks on DUCSU vice-president Nurul Huq Nur and 39 others on the day.
Injured student leaders said the attackers could be identified easily and their role could be exposed if the footage was found as at least 25 Chhatra League leaders and activists of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology unit were prosecuted mainly because of CCTV footage recovered following the killing of their fellow Abrar Fahad on October 7.
BUET students kept their authorities and police confined after Abrar’s death and forced them release all CCTV footage.
Police investigators said the footage of the attack would help them to identify the perpetrators.
Witnesses said attackers took away a video-recording enabled computer and its monitor from the union’s office when its vice-president Nurul Huq Nur and around two dozen others were confined in his room on December 22.
The computer and its monitor got vanished from the room of DUCSU’s administration officer during the attacks in the presence of the university authorities and plainclothes personnel.
Bangladesh Sadharan Chhatra Adhikar Sangrakkhan Parishad joint-convener Muhammad Rashed Khan accused the university proctor AKM Golam Rabbani of helping the attackers to take away the CCTV footages and demanded his resignation.
‘The proctor had helped to takeaway footage to save Sanjit and Saddam who basically led the attack on us…They knew what happened following the release of CCTV footage after BUET student Abrar Fahad killing, so that this time the video footage went missing,’ Rashed told the correspondent.
Rashed said Rushad Faridi, an assistant professor of economics department at the university, rushed to the spot after hearing that the students came under attack.
Rushad Faridi told the correspondent that he was present during the attack and saw how students were being beaten by the Chhatra League and Muktijuddha Mancha activists. The injured were locked by then and were requesting help from the police, he added.
‘On request, the door was opened and the injured were taken to hospital,’ Rushad said, adding, ‘By that time, a DUCSU official came to proctor and said some students took away the CCTV footage.’ Rushad said those students was not the injured for sure but the attackers were behind the lifting of the CCTV storage and monitor.
About the allegation, the proctor told the correspondent that a committee was formed to find out what happened to the CCTV footages. He said that he was not sure when those footages were taken away and advised talking to DUCSU senior administration officer Abul Kalam Azad, who was in charge of the computer and monitor, about it.
Abul Kalam Azad and his assistant Amal Roy said the computer and its monitor were taken away by breaking the door of Abul Kalam’s room when Nurul and his fellows were locked inside his room.
Abul Kalam said he was out of office for around 15 minutes.
Returning to his room, Abul Kalam found its door broken. ‘I found the monitor and computer got vanished,’ he said.
He said he immediately informed the proctor of going missing the computer.
‘The proctor said, “No problem. It will be looked into”,’ said Abul Kalam.
Sub-inspector Rois Hossain of Nilkhet police outpost, who was present during the attack and observed the situation until the injured were rescued and rushed to the hospitals, also could not say who had taken away the computer and its monitor, when and how.
In a mobile-phone footage, DUCSU assistant general secretary Saddam Hussain, also general secretary of Dhaka University unit Chhatra League, was seen talking to Nurul and others in Nurul’s office room before Nurul and others were attacked.
On the night after being attacked, Nurul requested university vice-chancellor Md Akhtaruzzaman to protect the CCTV footage to identify the perpetrators.
Home minister Asaduzzaman Khan also said steps would be taken after analysing the surveillance camera footage of the attack.
Saddam Hussain said they were not sure who had taken away the computer, when, and how but suspected the people who were behind the attack at the Vice Chancellor House in April 2018 might be behind the looting. The proctor also echoed Saddam.
Both said that during the attack on the VC House in April 2018, the attackers took away valuables including mobile phones along with the CCTV cameras.
Following attack on Nurul, the university authorities formed a probe committee headed by arts faculty dean Abu Md Delwar Hossain. Delwar said, ‘It was impossible for them to recover the CCTV footage. So, they sought assistance from law enforcing agencies’.
Detective branch (south) deputy commissioner Razib Al Masud, who supervises the case over the attack on Nurul, also said, ‘We spoke to the proctor over the CCTV footage but it could not be located’.
Source : New Age