Left-leaning student organisations yesterday besieged the Dhaka University Vice-Chancellor's office to press home their six-point demand, including setting up the polling centres at academic buildings, regarding the Dhaka University Central Students' Union (Ducsu) election, to be held on March 11.
Leaders and activists of two leftist alliances -- Pragatisheel Chhatra Jote and Samrajjobad Birodhi Chhatra Oikya -- started their demonstration around 1pm, following a procession brought out from Madhur Canteen.
Their other demands include scrapping the age limit for candidacy and giving an opportunity to contest to those who pay Ducsu and hall union fees, allowing the candidates to campaign inside classrooms, allotting seats in the dormitories based on merit and allowing former leaders of Ducsu to take part in electioneering.
Convener of Pragatisheel Chhatra Jote Ikbal Kabir said the DU administration has gone against most student organisations and decided to set up the polling centres at halls as per Chhatra League's demand.
At the same time, Awami League-backed BCL formed a human chain in front of DU Central Library, demanding the university authorities revamp the library and turn it into a multi-storeyed complex.
Like previous days, Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal went to Madhur Canteen yesterday where BCL men were also present. The entire canteen premises turned chaotic as both groups shouted slogan and counter-slogans.
Talking to reporters, JCD Central General Secretary Akramul Hasan said they are not collecting nomination forms right now, though the forms can be collected from today. They said they would wait till the “last” moment, in order to realise their demands, including political coexistence on campus and at dormitories.
“We hope that the authorities will fulfil our demands,” said Akramul.
As per the election schedule announced on February 11, nomination forms can be collected from February 19 to February 25.
Meanwhile, Chhatra League (JSD-Ambia) yesterday also demanded to defer the polls by 15 days to ensure political coexistence of all organisations on campus.
They placed the demand at a press conference organised to declare their panel for the polls.
The student body declared a separate panel, diverging from the BCL-led alliance, Chhatra Sangram Parishad.
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 yesterday declared forming an independent panel to contest the Ducsu and hall union polls.
While reading out a statement at a press conference at TSC Cafeteria, Auroni Semonti Khan, one of the students, said they will contest the polls with a full-fledged panel under the banner of “Swatantra Jote” (Independent Alliance).
“We have heard that many students want to compete in the polls but are apprehensive of Chhatra League. We are urging all to reach out to us through this platform,” said Auroni, a student of genetic engineering and biotechnology department.
She said they did not announce the full panel “for the sake of security” and would announce the names of panel members gradually.
“If we take position separately, it would be easier to stop us by threatening, intimidating or torturing us. But if we are united -- employing our courage, merit and skills -- no force can supress us,” she added.
The platform also said that they would not form any alliance with any student organisation that has a “parent political party” but would welcome the quota reformists for a “discussion” if they want.