Disgruntled students have blockaded the Chattogram University campus in protest against the new Bangladesh Chhatra League committee that was revealed in a late-night social media post.
The 376-member committee for CU was announced on the group's Facebook page around 12:30 am on Monday. Later, supporters of Chhatra League leaders who were overlooked for positions in the committee descended on the campus, locking down the university's main gate.
The university's shuttle train service has also been disrupted after a group of people detained its loco master in the morning, according to Sholoshohor Station Master Tonmoy Chowdhury.
Witnesses said that a few youths boarded the train as soon as it stopped at the port city's Jhautola Station at 7:40 am and nabbed the driver.
Chhatra League activists did not allow any bus for teachers and staff to leave the campus either. Protesters have been demonstrating by lighting fires near the main entrance to the campus following the announcement.
“After the Chhatra League committee was announced, those who were overlooked began protesting near the main gate. We spoke to them and convinced them to go back to their residential halls," Proctor Robiul Hasan Bhuiyan said.
"But in the morning, they began protesting again by blocking buses and trains. As a result, classes and examinations have been suspended. New exam dates will be announced later.”
According to the protesters, the president and general secretary of the organisation were appointed for a one-year term. However, the full committee was announced after their terms expired, raising suspicions of 'illegal financial transactions'.
"Many devoted leaders and activists of the Chhatra League have been denied a post on this committee. Many non-students, drug addicts and Shibir sympathisers have been selected," said Delwar Hossain, a Chhatra League activist who is participating in the protests.
Rezaul Haque Rubel, president of the CU Chhatra League unit, said, "Those who did not get a position are protesting at the main gate. Action will be taken against them upon consultation with top leaders.”
On Jul 14, 2019, Rezaul was appointed as president of the 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 constituted.