Ruqayyah Hall students withdraw hunger strike

Give one-day ultimatum

15th March, 2019 12:55:06 printer

Five female students of Dhaka University’s Ruqayyah Hall who went on a fast unto death over their four-point demand withdrew their strike on Thursday night, threatening to resume it if their demands are not met by one day, reports UNB.

The five students - Saida Afrin Safi, Rafia Sultana, Srabani Shafique Dipti, Joyonti Reza and Pramik Esha — called off their hunger strike around 10pm following discussions with DU Proctor Prof AKM Golam Rabbani, Ruqayyah Hall Provost Prof Zeenat Huda, Ducsu VP-elect Nurul Haq Nuru, BCL general secretary Golam Rabbani and its DU unitgeneralsecretaryMdSaddam Hussain.

“We’ve given them (DU authorities) a one-day ultimatum to meet our four-point demand after they requested us to go back to the hall, and promised to discuss our demands,” said Dipti.    

Earlier, DU Correspondent Repors: DUCSU Vice-President Nurul Haque Nur and JCD leaders on Thursday expressed solidarity with female students of Ruqayyah Hall who were on an indefinite hunger strike for a fair election.

A number of the hall students began the strike on Wednesday, demanding a re-election to their hall union.

They also demanded resignation of their hall provost, Professor Zinat Huda, for her failure to hold a fair election.

Showing solidarity, the newly-elected VP said, “I also demand that the hall provost should step down.”

He also came down heavily on the DU authorities, showing apathy to the girls who already spent a night at the hall’s entrance, and voiced concerns over security of the girls.

Nur also said that the university authorities should take action against those who disrespected the girls and harassed them.

Mostafizur Rahman, DUCSU vice-president candidate from the JCD panel, expressed solidarity with the girls and vowed to take the movement forward with them.

Some BCL activists, led by DUCSU general secretary Golam Rabbani, allegedly hurled abuses at the hunger strikers on early Thursday.

“Around 200 BCL activists came to the hall gates on Wednesday midnight and made comments on us,” said a hunger-striker, Shrobona Shafiq Dipty.

“We’re feeling very insecure on the Dhaka University campus over our agitation,” said another striker, Promi Khisha.

“I wasn’t aware of such an incident and none of the house tutors informed me,” Provost Zeenat Huda said, replying to a query.

In another development, six students continued a hunger strike on the Raju Sculpture premises for a third day, demanding fresh elections to DUCSU and hall unions.

They also threatened that they won’t go back to hall until their demands are met.

“We’ll rather die, but won’t go back until our demands are met,” said another striker, Al Mahmud Taha.