Tuesday, May 28, 2024


Dhaka Tribune

Student politics on campus: What will Buet do now?

The authorities have decided not to disclose any information to the media
The High Court issues a stay order on a notification that banned student politics at Buet
Buet alumni, some other citizens express concerns about student politics

Update : 05 Apr 2024, 11:44 PM

Amid the ongoing unrest surrounding the reinstatement of student politics on its campus, the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet) authorities announced a 13-day holiday, including Eid-ul-Fitr and Pohela Boishakh, starting from Thursday.

Seeking anonymity, individuals familiar with this development said the authorities have decided not to disclose any information to the media until the conclusion of the extended vacation, in order to avoid addressing recent inquiries about whether Buet will permit student politics on the campus once again.

The High Court recently issued a stay order on a notification that banned student politics at Buet. This implies that there is no longer any restriction on the continuation of student politics at Buet.

Following the High Court's order suspending the effectiveness of Buet's decision to ban political organizations and activities on campus, Vice Chancellor Prof Satya Prasad Majumder said that the university must adhere to the directives of the High Court.

However, on the same day, Buet students, during a press conference, reiterated their demand for a politics-free campus and urged the vice-chancellor to follow legal procedures concerning the High Court's verdict.

This correspondent visited Buet multiple times to inquire whether the Buet authorities intend to file an appeal against the High Court order. However, no response was received from the Buet authorities.

Nevertheless, some current and former students of Buet, speaking anonymously, mentioned that the university authorities are currently under immense pressure, and they plan to clarify their stance once academic activities resume after the vacation.

On March 27, the university's additional registrar, Prof Md Forkan Uddin, announced this holiday in accordance with Buet's academic calendar.

Who can appeal against the High Court's verdict?

When contacted, Habibur Rahman, an advocate of the Dhaka District and Sessions Judges Court, informed Dhaka Tribune that the petitioner in this case is a Chhatra League leader, while the defendants are the government and the Buet authorities. 

He further explained that the Buet VC can contest as the main defendant of the case. If he believes that the previous notification of Buet is justified, he should promptly approach the Appellate Division and request a stay order against the High Court's stay order. 

Rahman also said that Buet students can apply to join as a party or intervenor if they wish to appeal the verdict.

However, several former students of Buet have expressed concerns over the situation and have made both positive and negative remarks regarding student politics at Buet.

In addition to Buet alumni, some other citizens have also expressed concerns about student politics at Buet.

Saad Hammadi, an independent human rights advocate and researcher, said: "The students' protest to keep Buet out of politics is their civil and political right and must be respected. The authorities have a responsibility to protect the students from political interference and intimidation." 

He added: "The killing of Abrar Fahad in 2019 bears the hallmarks of the violence and brutality students have endured in the name of student politics at the institution."

However, there are also counter remarks on social media advocating for the reinstatement of student politics at Buet, with some suggesting that the absence of open student politics at Buet may inadvertently aid fundamentalist forces such as Hijbut Tahrir and Jamaat-e-Islami.

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