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Chhatra Dal calls off protest movement following negotiations

  • Published at 02:53 pm June 11th, 2019
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Former Chhatra Dal leaders gather near the BNP central office in Dhaka on Tuesday, June 11, 2019 Dhaka Tribune

In a sign of thaw, senior BNP leaders were allowed to enter the party's Naya Paltan office

The leaders of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal called off its protest-demonstration against the newly-imposed age limits for its members.

BNP Joint Secretary Asaduzzaman Assad announced this on Tuesday evening after a meeting with former student leaders of the recently abolished committee in Dhaka's Gulshan.  

Earlier on Tuesday evening, two senior members of BNP's Standing Committee said everything will be sorted out, amid an ongoing lockdown protest at their party headquarters in Dhaka.

BNP Standing Committee members Mirza Abbas and Gayeswar Chandra Roy said this upon entering the party's Naya Paltan office around 5:30 pm on Tuesday.

Earlier on Tuesday, a faction of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal, BNP's student wing, locked up the party's central office, protesting the newly-imposed age limits for its members.

In signs of a thaw, the leaders of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal allowed the two senior members of BNP to enter the office.

They met with Senior Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi, who was sick on the third floor of the office, and enquired about his health.

Demanding that committees with year-long mandates be formed, former Chhatra Dal leaders gathered near the central office and began their demonstration around 11am on Tuesday.

Later, BNP Vice Chairman Barkatullah Bulu, Organising Secretary Fazlur Huque Milon, Publicity Secretary Shahid Uddin Chowdhury Annie, and Training Affairs Secretary ABM Mosharraf Hossain, arrived at the scene.

However, the protestors reportedly barred the four BNP leaders from entering the office and got into an argument with them.

After talking to the protesters, Fazlul Huque Milon told journalists that the decision about the committees was taken by the party. He said it is not unusual for some people to be dissatisfied and angry with it.

He said: “We will listen to any complaints they have against this decision and convey the message to the acting chairperson.”

On June 3, a press release from BNP Senior Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi disbanded the previous central committee of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal.

The release also stated that to be included in a Chhatra Dal committee, candidates must be a student of an educational institution in Bangladesh, and they must have passed their SSC or equivalent exams after the year 2000.

The former leaders and activists are demanding that a short-term committee be formed to hold office till January 1 next year and that consecutive committees follow this system on a yearly basis, without there being an age limit for membership.