No headway to resolve protesters’ demands, hunger strike enters fourth day
Amidst continuous protests by general students for a Ducsu re-election, its newly elected vice-president, Nurul Haq Nur, on Friday said he would reconsider his decision to take oath as the VP.
Earlier on the same day, as Nur told the striking students that he would take oath to his elected post, the students told him to do so over their dead bodies.
“If you want to take the oath, you will have to do it over our dead bodies,” Rafia Tamanna, a hunger striker, told Nur.” “I would not do so and would reconsider the decision,” Nur replied.
On query whether he and Akhter Hossen, the only other non-Chhatra League candidate winning a secretarial post in Ducsu, will accept the prime minister’s invitation, Nur said, he is positive about meeting Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina as she is the highest executive body.
When students forbade Nur to meet her, Nur said: “I have been demanding reelection since the beginning but we have to take a decision upon consulting with everyone. We have to inform the prime minister about the situation.”
DU Teachers' Association President Prof ASM Maksud Kamal said: "If you want, next Monday university authorities will sit with the students who went on hunger strike for four consecutive days. We will listen to the allegations and we will try to make the electoral process more transparent in the future."
Around 11:34pm on Friday, students broke the hunger strike by drinking water and milk.
Pro vice-chancellor (VC) Prof Muhammad Samad, Proctor AKM Golam Rabbani, Ducsu-elect VP Nurul Haque Nur, General Secretary Golam Rabbani, and Assistant General Secretary Md Saddam Hussain were present.
They came to the spot at 11pm.
Earlier, the students had vowed to continue their fast until their demands are met.
Two more students fall sick
On Friday, two students – Shoyeb Mahmud and Meem Arafat Manob – fell sick when a group of agitating students brought out a “Bhukha Michil” (Hunger Procession) from Raju Memorial sculpture to press home their demands.
When their procession reached close to the Eternal Memorial monument, Shoyeb fell unconscious and was instantly admitted to Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH). A few moments later, Meem was also admitted to hospital as he was feeling sick too.
Next course of action
Meanwhile, Liton Nandi on Friday said they would announce their next course of action on Monday and that they were campaigning in the halls about their protest.
Earlier, Monday’s Ducsu election, held after 28 years, ended in a boycott by all major panels, except for the Chhatra League, over allegations of irregularities and vote rigging. The boycotting panels gave an ultimatum to the authorities to meet their demands in three working days, starting Wednesday.
The university authorities found proof of vote rigging in the Bangladesh-Kuwait Maitree Hall. Several hundred ballot papers were found in a sack. All of those were marked in favor of Chhatra League candidates, said teachers and students. The hall provost was removed from duty following the discovery. Allegations were also raised at Ruqayyah Hall where students discovered three ballot boxes outside the booth during the elections.