2007 campus violence: Ex-Army chief quizzed

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

Dhaka: 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

"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 subcommittee 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 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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