Former Dhaka University (DU) student Walid Ashraf, who has been on a hunger strike on the university campus demanding the Dhaka University Central Students' Union (Ducsu) election, was taken to the Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) on Wednesday as he fell severely ill.
He was administered with saline after he was admitted to the DMCH around 6pm, sources said.
He was released from the hospital around 7:15pm and went back to the campus to continue his hunger strike.
He was given saline on Tuesday, too, as both his blood pressure and blood sugar level fell drastically.
Walid, who completed his master's degree in the evening program of the university's Institute of Social Welfare and Research, began the hunger strike on November 25 on the Memory Eternal premises near the vice-chancellor's residence on the DU campus, demanding that the authorities concerned hold the Ducsu election before December 16.
Living in a tent, he has vowed to fast unto death if his demand is not met.
A number of students and teachers of Dhaka University, including Prof Gitiara Nasreen of mass communication and journalism department and Prof Ahmed Kamal of the history department, have openly expressed solidarity with Walid; so has many student organizations – except for Bangladesh Chhatra League, the student wing of the ruling Awami League, and Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal, student wing of the BNP.
Walid's supporters also include Prof Kazi Shakhawat Hossain and Prof Md Maniruzzaman Khandaker of Jagannath University, and even Workers' Party of Bangladesh General Secretary and Rajshahi 2 MP Fazle Hasan Badsha.
“Disregarding the demand for Ducsu election is similar to disregarding the previous democratic movement against military regime, which was led by Ducsu members,” Badsha said, urging former Ducsu leaders Rashed Khan Menon, Matia Chowdhury and Tofail Ahmed, who are now members of parliament, to come forward and express solidarity with Walid Ashraf.
Leaders and activists of left-leaning student body Bangladesh Chhatra Maitree expressed their solidarity with Walid on the occasion of the orgnization's 37th founding anniversary on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the DU unit of Bangladesh Chhatra Union announced to hold an open dialogue on Ducsu polls at 11am on December 13 in front of the Aparajeyo Bangla sculpture on the DU campus.
The last Ducsu election was held on June 6, 1990.
On November 29, Chhatra Union's DU unit President Tuhin Kanti Das said during a press briefing that the Ducsu polls had been stalled for 27 years due to the indifference of the university authorities, as demonstrated by the fact that steps had not been taken even when Walid launched his protest.
Earlier, on July 29, During the DU vice-chancellor panel election, a group of DU students staged a demonstration demanding the Ducsu polls, which led to a scuffle with some teachers, sparking public outcry on social media.