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Chhatra Dal: State agents behind dissolution of existing committee

  • Published at 05:06 pm June 22nd, 2019
web-Chhatra Dal
Chhatra Dal leaders at a press conference held in front of BNP's Naya Paltan headquarters on Saturday, June 2, 2019 Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

The student body's leaders said they will protest, from June 24, indefinitely, if their demands are not met

The existing committee of BNP's student body Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) was dissolved due to the intervention of "state agents," Chhatra Dal leaders have claimed.

"It was dissolved suddenly the night before Eid," Ikhtiyar Rahman Kabir, president of central Chhatra Dal, said at a press conference held in front of BNP's Naya Paltan headquarters on Saturday afternoon. "A syndicate conspired to dissolve the existing committee."

The press conference was held to raise Chhatra Dal's demands—to keep the existing committee unchanged—to BNP's standing committee members. 

The leaders have demanded the existing committee stay in power for the next six months, and that the next full committee include members from the existing committee as well.

According to BNP's press release that announced the dissolution of the party, only those who had passed the SSC or equivalent exams after 2000 may contest for the posts.

However, Chhatra Dal leaders have argued that having passed their SSC (or equivalent) exams in 1996-1997, there is not much of an age difference between them and those who can contest.

"The higher-ups have said we [the current leaders] are too old to remain in the committee anymore," Ikhtiyar said. "However, we only have a few years of an age difference with those who passed their SSCs after 2000. This cannot be a valid reason."

Commenting on BNP's decision to only include regular students on the committee, former Senior Joint Secretary of Chhatra Dal Asad said: "Regular students have not been involved with any of Chhatra Dal's activities for the last 5-10 years. They do not know anything about our protests against the oppressive government, or our torture at their hands."

He added: "We had to take study breaks in order to focus on these activities, but then we returned to studying again. We, too, are regular students, despite our age.

"Leaving us out to make room for other students would be extremely unfair," he said.

All of the eight committees formed in the last 20 years have included members from the existing committee, Asad said. "We have a right to be evaluated based upon our loyalty to the party."

The leaders said if their demands are not met, they will start demonstrating in front of the BNP headquarters from the day after tomorrow for an indefinite period until their demands are met.

Anisur Rahman, president of South Chhatra Dal said, one-and-a-half years ago, he had submitted the guidelines for the management of Chhatra Dal committee to BNP acting chairperson Tarique Rahman, and he had agreed to it.

 "Now, a certain vested quarter is trying mislead him," Anisur said. "Government agents are at work here."

When asked how ruling party agents could be involved with Chhatra Dal's decision making, Anisur said: "It must be understood, then, that there are government agents among our own party."

However, he declined to elaborate on this. 

Chhatra Dal's demands were made on the basis of a general consensus reached by all 12 units of Chhatra Dal. 

If the new committee is composed, following the age rule, then 21 current assistant secretaries of the 24 of these units will be left out. 

The existing committee of BNP's student body Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) was dissolved on June 3.

A press release, signed by BNP Senior Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi, said a new committee would be formed within the next 45 days, based upon the opinion of its councillors.

It also said the schedule of the Chhatra Dal's council would be announced later.

On October 14, 2014, Chhatra Dal's last committee was formed making Rajib Ahsan its president and Akramul Hasan its general secretary.