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HindustanTimes Sat,23 Aug 2014

World

Parl body quizzes ex-army chief on 2007 campus violence
PTI
Dhaka, September 13, 2011
First Published: 21:15 IST(13/9/2011)
Last Updated: 21:16 IST(13/9/2011)

US-based former Bangladesh army chief General Moeen U Ahmed on Tuesday denied army's role in sparking the 2007 violence and subsequent actions at Dhaka University as a parliamentary standing committee quizzed him through teleconference.

"He (Ahmed) held responsible the council of advisers as he responded to questions of the (sub) committee," chairman of parliamentary standing committee on education ministry Rashed Khan Menon told newsmen after the teleconference.

The ex-army chief, Menon said, however admitted that the field-level army officers could have played a role in the arrest and torture of teachers and students of Dhaka University during the military-backed interim government of chief adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed.

He said army high-ups were not consulted or informed about the actions.

He called the incident "unwanted and unfortunate".

"The parliamentary sub committee is not satisfied with his (Moeen) statement...He avoided his responsibilities and put the blame on others," Menon told newsmen.

Ahmed was questioned via teleconference because he was being treated in the US for critical ailments.

Earlier the committee had repeatedly demanded his personal appearance to explain his role during the campus unrest and had termed his written statements as "not enough".

The four-member sub-committee started questioning Ahmed sitting at the Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban around 10:00am, which continued for about two hours.

The parliamentary body had in August last year launched investigations into the the military actions against students and teachers after a dispute during a student football match at the campus stadium.

It eventually spread across the capital and major campuses outside Dhaka in the subsequent three days prompting authorities to enforce an indefinite curfew in the capital and five other major cities.

A total of eight teachers of Dhaka University and northwestern Rajshahi University were arrested as the violence left at least one dead and over 100 injured, shaking the country's emergency government installed with crucial military support on January 11, 2007.


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