Protesting students announce a boycott of classes and examinations, and stage a sit-in in front of the vice-chancellor’s office on Monday
A day after meeting Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, newly elected Dhaka University Central Students’ Union (Ducsu) Vice-President (VP), Nurul Haque Nur, has again demanded fresh polls, saying the recently held one was marred by vote rigging and irregularities.
He has also demanded resignation of the incumbent officials involved in the Ducsu and hall union elections of March 11, and organizing fresh elections under the supervision of new officials, following immediate announcement of a new polls schedule.
Nur made the remarks at a press conference held at Madhur Canteen on campus Sunday afternoon, where he also cleared his stance regarding his statements and speech made at Ganabhaban on Saturday.
On Saturday, speaking at Ganabhaban, Nur had expressed his gratitude to the prime minister for helping the DU administration organize the Ducsu polls.
“She (PM) cooperated with the university authorities. Or else, the election would not have been held,” said Nur, one of the leaders of last year’s movement that led to the reformation of a quota system in government jobs.
He said that successive governments after 1990 did not want to take any risks by holding Ducsu polls, but the prime minister took the risk.
Nur and other new leaders of Ducsu and 18 hall unions, met and exchanged greetings with Prime Minister Hasina at her official residence on Saturday.
However, Nur added: “I will not take charge as Ducsu VP if students do not want me to. I went to Ganabhaban because the prime minister, who is the head of the government, invited us.”
Expressing his support for the protesting student platforms, Nur urged everyone not to feel derailed by his remarks made at Ganabhaban.
He said he was feeling uncomfortable there after seeing a huge number of leaders and activists of various Bangladesh Chhatra League units.
Meanwhile, five major panels that boycotted the Ducsu and hall union polls has also announced a boycott of classes and examinations and staged a sit-in in front of the DU vice-chancellor’s (VC) office on Monday, demanding rescheduling of the polls.
Pragatishil Chhatra Oikya, Bangladesh General Students’ Rights Protection Council, Swatantra Jote, Chhatra Federation, and Swadhikar Swatantra Parishad made the announcements at separate press conferences on Sunday.
The panels also demanded resignation of the officials who were responsible for holding the election, withdrawal of false cases against candidates, and punishment of those who attacked protesters.
Nur also made a similar class-boycott announcement and added that they would hold a protest rally at the foot of Raju Memorial Sculpture at 11am on Monday.
Addressing the media at Madhur Canteen earlier on Sunday, Bangladesh Students Union General Secretary, Liton Nandi, said there was no alternative to fresh elections for Ducsu and hall unions, as the March 11 polls were marred by ballot stuffing and administrative failure.
Liton contested the Ducsu polls for the VP post from the Pragatishil Chhatra Oikkya panel.
On Sunday, DU VC, Prof Md Akhtaruzzaman, also confirmed that a schedule of ceremonies for the newly elected Ducsu representatives would be declared on Monday after a meeting of the provosts’ standing committee.
The meeting would be held at 7:30pm Monday, he said.
Bangladesh Chhatra League-nominated, Sammilita Shikkharthi Parishad panel, swept the Ducsu polls, securing all the posts of its 25-member executive committee, except the VP and social services secretary positions.
Bangladesh General Students' Rights Protection Council-backed candidate, Nur, was elected Ducsu VP while Chhatra League leader, Golam Rabbani, was elected general secretary.