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Provost: Ruqayyah Hall incident happened due to rumours

  • Published at 04:36 pm March 14th, 2019
Students are protesting and chanting slogans in front of the voting room at Ruqayyah Hall on Monday, March 11, 2019 Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

She made the statement at a press conference on Thursday

Dhaka University’s Ruqayyah Hall Provost Professor Zeenat Huda said the incidents at the hall occurred due to rumours; possibly intended to incite hostility. 

She made the statement at a press conference, on Thursday, at the Dhaka University Club.

She said: “The incidents that occurred that day happened because of rumours, the people who spread these rumours were motivated.

“The voting began late because there was some confusion about the process of ballot box sealing.”

She also said students from different panels, as well as media personnel, were shown the insides of the ballot boxes. 

“We have photographic evidence of it. But, we were unsure about how best to seal the boxes again, so the voting was delayed a little bit,” she said.

Ruqayyah Hall resident teacher and Returning Officer Dr Dilara Zahid said: “We were given six ballot boxes. However, now people are saying we were given nine of them, and three are missing.”

As evidence, she showed as paper signed by the chief returning officer that stated they were given six ballot boxes.

Dilara Zahid said: “The ballot papers in the trunks were kept in a room beside the polling area. There was no need to keep 4500 ballot papers in the polling room. The unused ballot papers had no marks on them, they were completely intact.

“When Nur and Rasheda wanted to see the papers, we could not just show them to them. We brought the chief returning officer and the proctor. After that we showed them [Nur and Rasheda] the ballot papers.”

Dhaka University Central Students’ Union (Ducsu) Vice-President-elect Nurul Haque Nur said: “The ballots were kept in an abandoned room. When we wanted to see it, they refused to let us. They said we needed to be in the presence of the chief returning officer and proctor in order to see the ballots.”