Protests over new BCL committee paralyse Chattogram University for second day

The authorities have suspended academic activities and shuttle transport services amid protests over a new Chhatra League committee

Published : 2 August 2022, 06:17 AM
Updated : 2 August 2022, 06:17 AM

Chattogram University has been crippled by protests over a new committee for its Bangladesh Chhatra League unit for a second day.

The protests were sparked by the announcement of the 376-member committee by the ruling party's student affiliate on its official Facebook page in the early hours of Monday. Those who missed out on their preferred posts in the committee or were completely overlooked descended on the campus along with their supporters.

The authorities have decided to suspend the university's shuttle train service due to security concerns, Chattogram Railway Station Master Ratan Kumar Chowdhury said on Tuesday.

"No shuttle train has left the Battali station for the university since the morning."

Addressing the matter, CU's Proctor Robiul Hasan Bhuiyan said students aggrieved at being deprived of posts in the full committee locked the university's main entrance on Monday. Some of them also detained the shuttle train's driver during the protests.

"Yesterday, the agitators had assured that they would call off the blockade, but they threatened transport employees this morning. The university's bus and train services have been suspended for security reasons."

Classes and examinations have also had to be put on hold, he added.

The authorities had urged the disgruntled students to be mindful of the rules when protesting, but they refused to heed the call, according to Robiul. Action will be taken against them upon consultation with the vice chancellor, he said.

According to the protesters, many devoted leaders and activists of the Chhatra League were denied posts in this committee in favour of 'non-students, drug addicts and BNP-Jamaat sympathisers'.

They later placed five demands at a press conference on Monday.

These include the expulsion of Md Ilyas, the joint general secretary of the new committee, who they accused of being a 'non-student, yaba dealer and tender monger'.

They also called for all non-students, married persons and those with links to the BNP and Jamaat-e-Islam to be replaced by 50 dedicated and meritorious students, while maintaining a seniority-based heirarchy.

On Jul 14, 2019, Rezaul Haque was appointed as president of the Chhatra League CU unit and Iqbal Hossain as general secretary. They were tasked with forming a fully-fledged committee within a month of their appointments, but that did not materialise. Instead, it took three years for a new committee to be announced.

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher