• Wednesday, May 22, 2019
  • Last Update : 02:59 pm

Day of drama, back-and-forth ends with demand for re-election

  • Published at 01:17 am March 13th, 2019
Bangladesh Chhatra League President Rezwanul Haque Chowdhury Shovon and quota reform movement leader Nurul Haque Nur embrace each other at TSC auditorium on Dhaka University campus on Tuesday, March 12, 2019 Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

Nur, who made four very different statements throughout the day, said in his last statement that he and his panel, alongside the four other panels, wanted resignation of the incumbent polling officials and re-election under new officials

After a day of dramatic change of stances by the Bangladesh Chhatra League leaders and the quota reform movement leader Nurul Haq Nur, the five panels that boycotted the Dhaka University Central Students Union (Ducsu) election finally decided to call for re-election late last night.

Nur, who made four very different statements throughout the day, said in his last statement that he and his panel, alongside the four other panels, wanted resignation of the incumbent polling officials and re-election under new officials.

Speaking to media in the evening, Nur said re-election needs to be held by March 31. However, he will take oath as vice-president before that.

Violence and tension

Dhaka University campus was tense in the morning as students took position as per the preannounced protest program, in front of Raju Sculpture. 

No classes were held. The protesters demanded re-election and resignation of the vice-chancellor.

Meanwhile, Chhatra League supporters took position in front of the vice-chancellor’s residence protesting Nur’s election.

The situation changed around 1:30pm after Nur came to the campus.

A group of people, allegedly Chhatra League supporters, chased Nur and his team in front of TSC.

Several attacks and chases took place around the campus. It could not be immediately determined which groups had attacked which.

Nur and his supporters took out a procession 30 minutes after he was attacked. They came to the Raju sculpture, where he demanded re-election to the 23 posts other than his own and another won by his panel.

He also called for a boycott of classes.

•    Vice-president-elect Nur says he will take oath, but demands re-election

•    Nur changes his position four times in a day

•    Quota reform leaders beaten up

•    Chhatra League’s defeated VP candidate says “will work together”

•    pro-VC says re-election not possible

•    No classes held

Around 4:30pm, Chhatra League President Rezwanul Huq Chowdhury Shovon, who was a vice-president contender, came with a group of followers and met Nur. 

He made a public acknowledgement of Nur’s victory, and presented him with flowers.

Handing over flowers to Nur, Shovon urged the newly elected VP to accept the result of the election.

Shovon also called on students to accept the results for the sake of peaceful environment at the university.

Responding to Shovon’s call, Nur withdrew the class boycott and said he wanted justice for his attack.

However, it soon became apparent that neither members of Nur’s organization, nor his allies, the other four panels who boycotted the polls, were happy with this announcement.

VP candidate and leader of the Left panel, Liton Nandi, told reporters that they had not moved away from a demand for reelection, and a schedule must be announced within three days.

After hearing the decision, newly elected VP Nurul Haq Nur told reporters that he was still supporting the demand for reelection by the five-panel alliance. He said that if reelection schedule is declared, he has no problem.

“But according to the directive of the High Court, Ducsu elections must be held by March 31. Re-election should be held within that time,” he said.

However, he also said he will take oath.

Chhatra League’s 180 degree

Dhaka University Chhatra League members gathered outside the vice-chancellor's residence in the morning, protesting the results of the Ducsu election.

They set a couple of fires on the road during the protest, chanted slogans saying they do not accept the "farcical election," and demanded a new election.

Later, Chhatra League President Rezwanul Huq Chowdhury Shovon came to the spot around 3pm and requested the protesters to clear the road. The activists then withdrew from the spot.

Pro-VC: Re-election not possible

Dhaka University Pro-Vice-Chancellor (VC) Prof Prof Muhammad Samad has said it is not possible to hold the Dhaka University Central Student Union (Ducsu) re-election. 

He said the probe committee formed over the incident at Kuwait Maitree Hall on voting day held a meeting in the morning and inspected the hall.

They will submit a report to the vice-chancellor, he said.

No classes held 

Students were absent from classes at the university amid protests carried out by the five panels.

Protesting students said that they will not attend any classes until the matter is resolved. 

Quota reform movement leader Nurul Haq Nur was elected Vice-President of Ducsu in Monday’s elections while Bangladesh Chhatra League General Secretary Golam Rabbani won the post of general secretary, and Saddam Hussain won the post of assistant general secretary. Eight of nine secretary posts went to candidates from the Chhatra League panel.

Case against Nur, 40 others

A case was filed on Monday night against 40 people for allegedly attacking Ruqayyah Hall Provost Prof Zeenat Huda on the voting day.

Nurul Haq Nur, Liton Nandi and Umme Habiba Benozir were accused in the case.

Marzuka Raina of Ruqayyah Hall filed the case accusing them of attacking the provost and carrying out vandalism in the hall.