Five students of Dhaka University's Sir AF Rahman Hall were allegedly beaten up by seniors, also Bangladesh Chhatra League activists, following a Facebook post on Thursday.
The victim students are-- Rubel Hossain and Al-Amin Hamid of Management department, Bulbul Ahmed and Rana Hossain of Islamic Studies department and Md Emdadul of Finance department. They all are first year students residing in the hall.
The accused students are Lalon Hossain of Geography and Environment department, Ariful Islam Arif and Asif Hossain of Marketing Department and Wajid Tawsif of Music Department. The accused are all second year students and Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) activists.
Sources from the hall said recently, a first year student and resident of the hall was beaten up seriously. After that, the organizing secretary of BCL hall committee Saleh Uddin Saju issued an instruction to end the 'Guest Room culture' in the hall.
The 'guest room culture' refers to a practice whereby senior students, particularly politically active ones -usually BCL leaders now- gather junior students in a hall room under the pretext of political sensitisation sessions to more casual get-togethers.
But these sessions have long been criticized as the setting for seniors to harass and torture junior students physically and mentally.
That's why residents of the hall posted their positive reactions on Facebook to the instruction by Saju, welcoming it.
However, the accused BCL activists called all the first-year students of the hall to the guest room and harassed them.
The five students were later beaten separately by the four second-year students around 10pm on Thursday, said a first-year student at the hall, who declined to be named.
He added that BCL leader Lalon Hossain had beaten up the students. The accused tortured them in various ways till 12am.
The victims declined to comment fearing further torture.
When contacted, accused Lalon Hossain flatly denied the allegations. "There was no guest room in the hall, and no such incident of torture took place," he said.
Meanwhile, Saleh Uddin Ahmed Saju, who had given the positive instruction against guest room culture, said he discussed the matter with everyone after being informed. But the victims said nothing in this regard.
Saju said he has warned everyone not to let such incidents happen again.
Professor Saiful Islam Khan, Provost of Sir AF Rahman Hall, told UNB that he had not received any complaint from the students.
"I heard about it from the media," he said.
"We need the permission of the administration to hold any kind of congregation in the guest room. No such permission was taken regarding this. However, I have asked the house tutor of the concerned block to look into the matter," the provost added.