Dhaka, Sept 16 – Student leaders at a meeting with Dhaka University authorities on Sunday demanded peaceful coexistence of all parties in the university and its residential halls with a view to holding a successful election of the DUCSU and hall unions of the university.This demand was made mainly by the pro-BNP Chhatra Dal which also wanted outsiders to leave the DU student dormitories. Pro-AL Chhatra League said co-existence would be welcome if they do not bring with them cocktail bombs to the halls.
The Dhaka University administration met with leaders from ‘active’ student groups.
Representatives from the Chhatra League, Chhatra Dal and various other student organizations gathered at the university’s old Senate Hall at 11:30 am on Sunday.
The university administration took the initiative to hold the meeting after a case was filed last Thursday over ignoring the DUCSU elections.
After the meeting university authorities told journalists that they targetted March as the time for holding the DUCSU and Hall Union elections
Central Chhatra League President Rezwanul Haque Chowdhury Shovon and General Secretary Golam Rabbani and Dhaka University unit President Sanjit Chandra Das and General Secretary Hossein Saddam went to the vice-chancellor’s office from Modhu’s Canteen around 11:25 am.
Central Chhatra Dal President Rajeeb Ahsan and Dhaka University unit General Secretary Bashar Siddique of the organization came to the vice chancellor’s office a few minutes later.
Representatives from three leftist student organisations – the Chhatra Union, Chhatra Foundation and Chhatra Front – also attended the meeting.
Dhaka University Vice Chancellor Akhtaruzzaman led the administration’s delegation, which also included Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education) Prof Nasreen Ahmad, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Administration) Muhammad Samad, Treasurer Prof Kamal Uddin, Proctor Prof AKM Golam Rabbani.
Activists from 13 ‘active’ student organisations were invited to the event, an assistant proctor told journalists.
After concluding the meeting at 3:30 pm, Vice-chancellor Prof Dr. Md Akhtaruzzaman told UNB that, “We noted the suggestions made by all student leaders. We will take the next steps after the
discussion. We will sit soon for fixing the poll date and create an environment of equal coexistence for all student organisations in the campus.”
Talking to UNB, BCL DU unit president Sonjit Chandra Das said “Ducsu election is now a national demand as it is an essential organ of the university. We are demanding for Ducsu poll for a long time and ready to participate in the election.”
“But we told the university administration to hold the poll after the national parliamentary election,” he added.
Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) central president Razib Ahsan said: “The university authorities must ensure equal coexistence of all political parties before the election otherwise it will fail to bring any functional change in the future.”
Bangladesh Chhatra Union DU unit president, Foez Ullah said, “Most of the student leaders except Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) gave emphasis on the equal coexistence of all students’ organisations on the university campus. We also told the university administration to hold Ducsu poll as soon as possible.”
Presided by DU Vice-Chancellor (VC) Prof M Akhtaruzzaman, Pro-VC Prof Dr Nasreen Ahmad (Education), Pro-VC Prof Dr Muhammad Samad (Administration), treasurer Prof Dr Md Kamal Uddin, proctor Prof AKM Golam Rabbani, assistant proctors and provosts of residential halls were present.
A total of 13 student organisations including AL-backed Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) and BNP-supported Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) representatives participated in the discussion.
Among the students leaders BCL central unit’s President, Rejwanul Haque Chowdhury Shovon, General Secretary, Golam Rabbani, DU unit President, Sonjit Chandra Das and General Secretary Md Saddam Hussain; JCD central President, Rajib Ahsan, and DU unit General Secretary, Bashar Siddique, Bangladesh Chhatra Union central secretary Liton Nandi and DU unit president, Foez Ullah attended the meeting.
DUCSU was formed a year after Dhaka University was established in 1921. DUCSU and other student leaders were at the forefront of the historic Language Movement, the Education Movement, the 1969 mass upsurge, and the Independence Movement.
Since independence, Dhaka University students have also played a significant role in protests for democracy and against tyranny.
DUCSU elections are to be held every year but there have only been six since independence. The last election was held on Jun 6, 1990. Efforts were made several times but no election has been organized since then.
On Jan 17 of this year, the High Court settled a six-year-old rule on the issue, ordering DUCSU elections to be held within six months.
Petitioners’ lawyer Manzil Morshed sent a legal notice to the Dhaka University administration on Sept 4 after there was no visible progress on the issue after seven months.
After he received no answer, he brought allegations of negligence against the university’s vice-chancellor and administration to the High Court on Wednesday filing a court contempt case.- GW News Desk