Former Dhaka University student Walid Ashraf continued his hunger strike into the fifth consecutive day, demanding that the Dhaka University Central Student Union (DUCSU) polls be held by December 16.
In addition, a number of university professors and student activist groups have expressed their support for Walid, who completed his masters from the Social Welfare Institute of DU.
DU mass communication and journalism department Prof Gitiara Nasreen and the history department’s Prof Ahmed Kamal have expressed solidarity with the protesting youth, as have Prof Kazi Shakhawath Hossain and Prof Md Maniruzzman Khandaker of Jagannath University’s botany department.
Furthermore, Ganasanghati Andolon convener Jonayed Saki and activist Dipok Roy also expressed solidarity with Walid at the Memory Eternal premises in front of the DU Vice-Chancellor’s house, where Walid is staging his protest.
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Walid said: “I have been getting physically weaker day by day, but my mental strength is growing as people come to show their support.”
A total of 171 people, including students, former students and teachers, have signed their names in support of Walid so far.
Some DU students supporting Walid also painted graffiti on the walls and road near the Memory Eternal premises, demanding the DUCSU election.
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Graffiti painted by students of DU, demanding that the DUCSU polls be held by December 16 Dhaka Tribune
Moreover, the Progressive Students’ Alliance, a platform for all left leaning students’ organisations, expressed their support for Walid at a press conference held at DU’s Madhur canteen on Wednesday afternoon.
Tuhin Kanti Das, president of the DU unit of Bangladesh Students Union, read out the written statement at the press conference.
He said the DUCSU polls had been stalled for 27 years due to the indifference of the university authorities, as demonstrated by the fact that steps were yet to be taken after Walid’s hunger strike stretched into the fifth day.
Meanwhile, DU assistant proctors Sohel Rana and Lutfor Rahman had arrived at the location to speak with Walid on Monday.
Walid began his hunger strike at around 4pm on November 25, saying he was willing to starve to death if the DU authorities did not heed his demands and hold the DUCSU polls by December 16.
Earlier on July 29, During the DU VC panel election, a group of students of the university who were demanding for the DUCSU polls engaged in a scuffle with some teachers, sparking public outcry on social media. The last DUCSU election was held on June 6, 1990.