On March 3 of 2014, Rajshahi University authorities imposed a ban on all types of processions, rallies and use of megaphones on the campus.
The order came following violence on campus on February 2 that year when police and BCL activists attacked a procession of students, demonstrating protesting the hike of university fees and continuation of evening masters programmes. The violence left more than 100 students injured.
Though the ban still remains in place, it is being “ignored” by student organisations and in some cases, university officials are also joining the demonstrations.
Be it political or socio-cultural issues, student bodies including Bangladesh Chhatra League, Chhatra Union and other leftist organisations continue to bring out processions or hold rallies on campus to realise their demands.
Last Sunday, around 300-400 activists of RU unit of Bangladesh Chhatra League demonstrated on the campus as part of their weekly programme. Leftist organisations did the same on various occasions.
General students also demonstrated on the campus for quota reformation and road safety.
Golam Kibria, BCL president of RU unit, said, “As campus environment has improved, the authorities should withdraw the ban now. Also, student bodies should be able to hold events demanding student union election.”
Asked, Proctor Prof Lutfor Rahman said, “The political environment on campus has changed over the years and the ban has been loosened up a bit unofficially. I will recommend the authorities to withdraw it as we are discussing Rucsu polls.”
Prof M Habibur Rahman, member of the university syndicate, said, “We will try to discuss the matter in the next syndicate meeting and come up with a solution.”