POST TIME: 19 March, 2019 12:35:16 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 19 March, 2019 11:11:14 AM
Demo to push for re-polling continues
DUCSU elections
DU Correspondent, Dhaka

Demo to push for re-polling continues

Supporters of all the panels, who boycotted the DUCSU election, lay siege to the VC office on the Dhaka University campus yesterday demanding cancellation of the election results and announcement of fresh schedule. Independent Photo

Demanding a fair investigation into irregularities in the Dhaka University Central Students' Union (DUCSU) elections, some of the students who were on hunger strike from Monday evening till Friday night last week held a meeting with the vice-chancellor (VC), Prof. Akhtaruzzaman, yesterday, as he had promised earlier.  

The meeting took place in front of the VC's office around 12:30pm. The protesters iterated their demand for re-election. Candidates of five panels and students were present. Before this, the protesters gathered at the foot of the Raju Memorial Sculpture around 11pm.

Students who were on hunger strike said that the VC had told them that there were more irregularities in previous DUCSU elections. Clashes and murders had taken place. What happened in the recent elections were “normal”, he told the students.

The seven students who were on hunger-strike broke the fast at 11.34pm on Friday, as the VC promised to look into the matter and find a solution by talking to them. Four of them—Tauhid Tanzim, Shoaib Mahmud, Rafia Tamanna and Rabiul Islam—were present.

After nearly an hour’s meeting, Shoaib Mahmud told reporters: “The VC has been apprised of the irregularities in the elections. As proof,  written allegations of voters and video footage have been given. Sir said these documents will be given to the investigation committee constituted on March 13 to look into various accusations.”

According to the VC, the elections were fair enough, Shoaib said.

Another hunger striker, Moin Uddin, said: “We are not satisfied with this meeting. Since we have been demanding an investigation into the irregularities, we will wait for a while. If they do not make public the results of a quick investigation, we will join the movement.”

Seven students, six of them candidates in the DUCSU and hall elections, had sat on a hunger strike, demanding re-election and removal of the VC, chief returning officer, assistant returning officer, and dismissal of false cases against candidates and students. On Friday night, vice-chancellor (administration) Prof. Muhammad Samad, president of the Teachers’ Association, Prof. Maksud Kamal, and the VP, GS and AGS of the DUCSU made the seven break their fast.                     

On the other hand, five panels demanding re-election, announced a boycott of classes yesterday. But no such thing was seen on the campus. All academic activities went on as usual.         

The quota reform movement platform, the Bangladesh General Student Rights Council, Pragatishil Chhatra Jote, Student Federation, Swatantra Jote and Swadhikar Swatantra Jote’s activists and supporters organised a procession from the Raju Memorial Sculpture to the VC’s office. The collapsible gate of the office was closed when they started chanting slogans.

The GS of the DUCSU and president of the Student Federation’s DU unit said all students must be united. “We have been staying here against the elections of March 11. This position will continue until our demand is met.”    

“When we went to the VC, he told us to submit a written complaint. I had submitted a written complaint before the election. I have also submitted many written complaints after the election. But the VC has not taken steps. We have taken up position here. The VC is bound to accept out demands,” said Arani Semonti Khan, Sotontro Jote candidate for the DUCSU VP’s post.

“This election was fully orchestrated. Although we repeatedly asked for the media to be allowed entry to polling centres, it was not done. We were prohibited from entering the polling stations with mobile phones. Now they are asking for evidence of fraud and have closed their doors before it could be collected,” said ARM Asifur Rahman, Shadhikar Sotontro Jote candidate for the GS post.