Ban Chhatra League activities, demands Ducsu VP, JCD and left leaning bodies
Representatives of several student bodies on Saturday called upon the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) authorities to review their decision on banning political activities on campus.
The decision will benefit the criminal organizations and it will be used to fuel religious extremism, they feared.
Instead, some of the student bodies have urged the authorities to ban the politics of Chhatra League on campuses.
Their reaction came a day after Buet authorities banned all sorts of political organizations and their activities on its campus.
Acting president of central Chhatra League Al-Nahean Khan Joy, speaking to the media at Madhur Canteen on Saturday, urged the BUET authorities to review the decision, saying that it will benefit terror groups.
He also claimed that there was no room for culprits in his organizations and stern action will be taken if they found anyone belonging to Chhatra League engaged in abuse and repression.
Meanwhile, Dhaka University Central Students' Union (Ducsu) Vice-President (VP) Nurul Haque Nur on Saturday placed a five-point demand with reference to the violent killing of Buet student Abrar Fahad, criminalization on campuses and on anti-state deals.
Bangladesh does have a proud history of student politics, however, the issue of banning politics on campuses was raised as a result of violent activities by the ruling party, he claimed.
“Killing in campuses is nothing new as 151 killings took place on campuses in between 1974 and 2009. And the killings continued as justice has not been served in any cases, except the seven murders in Muhsin Hall of DU,” said Nur.
“We want to stop the domination of the ruling party affiliated student body in campuses,” he said.
In his five-point charter of demands, he urged authorities to complete trial of all student killings by forming a speedy tribunal, ensuring seats for students from the first year to ensure safe and a democratic campus, holding election in all university and college central student unions, cancellation of anti-state deals and appointments of impartial persons to important posts including vice chancellors to all universities.
Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal General Secretary Iqbal Hossain Shamol demanded that student politics should not be banned as a whole, but insisted on banning the Chhatra League’s criminal activities in campuses.
“Chhatra League is illegally occupying the campuses across Bangladesh and carrying on politics via criminal acts. The authorities should have banned the authoritarian politics of the Chhatra League, instead of banning student politics,” he said.
Protesting Buet's decision, Bangladesh Chhatra League, in a statement, said banning student politics is not the solution, rather the administration should ensure that no one could operate torture cells or abuse students.
“Buet authorities had banned student politics to shift focus from their failure in ensuring students’ safety. Politics is a democratic right and no one can ban this fundamental right,” they said calling upon Buet students not to accept the ban.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh Chhatra Federation, in a statement, said students are beaten and are losing their lives because of criminal activities of the Chhatra League, not because of student politics.
Rejecting the Buet decision, leaders of the federation also demanded cancellation of the Bangladesh Engineering and Technological University Ordinance, 1961.
Instead, they demanded removal of Buet VC, hall provost and residential teachers for their failure and their responsibilities in Abrar’s murder and exemplary punishment for them.
The Bangladesh Progressive Students Alliance also demanded a ban on Chhatra League's authoritarian politics in Buet campus.
At a press conference held in the Madhur Canteen at DU campus, the convener of the alliance and Samajtantrik Chhatra Front president Al Kaderi Joy said the decision to ban student politics in Buet will be used to suppress the opposing voices.
With this ban, Buet will put off any protest, political statement, or right to express against any injustice by state, university or society, he claimed.