Left-leaning student bodies on Monday besieged the Dhaka University Vice-Chancellor office to press home their six-point demand, including setting up of the polling centres at the academic building instead of dorms in the Central Students’ Union election of the university, scheduled for March 11.
The leaders and activists of two leftist alliances, Progressive Student Alliance and Anti-imperialist Student Unity, also brought out a procession from the Madhu’s Canteen, which ended in front of VC Professor Akhtaruzzaman’s office.
The other demands of the student bodies include scrapping of the age limit for candidacy and giving chance to contest to those who pay DUCSU and hall union fees, allowing of the candidates to campaign inside the classrooms, allotting of seats in the dormitories on the basis of merit and allowing of former leaders of DUCSU to take part in electioneering.
Addressing the gathering, convener of Progressive Student Alliance Iqbal Kabir said that the administration ignored the demand of most of the student organisations, accusing it of being adamant to set up the polling centres inside halls to facilitate ruling Awami League-backed student wing Chhatra League.
He also alleged that the university administration fulfilled all the demands placed by Chhatra League. Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal also went to Madhur Canteen on Monday when the BCL men were also present. The entire canteen premises turned into a chaotic place as both the groups chanted slogan and counter slogans.
Talking to the reporters, JCD central general secretary Akramul Hasan said that they would not collect nomination from if the authorities do not realise their demands and also threatened to wage tougher movement to press home their demands, including political coexistence on the campus and in the dormitories.
Chhatra League also formed a human chain in front of DU central Library, demanding the university authorities to modernise the Library and turn it into a multistoried complex to accommodate thousands of students.
As per the election schedule, announced on February 11, the nomination forms can be collected from February 19 to February 25.
Meanwhile, Chhatra League (JSD-Ambia) also demanded to defer the polls by 15 days to ensure political co-existence of all the organisations on the campus. The student body also declared their panel for the polls.
In their 25-member panel, the organisation’s DU unit president Mahfuzur Rahman and general secretary Shahriar Rahman have been declared candidates for the Vice-President and General Secretary posts respectively.
In another development, a group of DU students also declared to form an independent panel to contest the DUCSU and hall union polls.
While reading out a statement at a press conference at the TSC cafeteria, Auroni Semonti Khan, a student of genetic engineering and biotechnology department, said they would contest the polls with a full-fledged panel under the banner named ‘Swatantra Jote’ (Independent Alliance).
Auroni said they did not announce the full panel now for the sake of security and would announce the name of panel members gradually.
The platform also said that they would not form an alliance with any student organisations that have parent political organisation but would welcome the quota reformists for a discussion if they want.
The DUCSU polls did not take place in 28 years because of the indifference of the successive university administrations and governments, reportedly in order to maintain their dominance on the campus.