Hunger strikers fall sick

DU Correspondent

15th March, 2019 11:59:06 printer

None of the university authorities visited the students who remained on hunger strike for the 4th consecutive day yesterday despite the fact that they were falling sick gradually.

On Friday, Two hunger strikers—Soyeb Mahmud and Mim Arafat Manab—fell unconscious and were rushed to Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH).

The strikers along with other agitators brought out a hunger procession on the campus demanding reelection to the central

student’s union of Dhaka University (DU) and hall union, terming the earlier one unfair and a drama.

When the procession reached the Memory Eternal, Soyem Mahmud fell unconscious. Soon after the procession, another striker Mim Arafat Manab also fell sick.

Five strikers went on their hunger strike since Tuesday evening at the foot of Anti-Terrorism Raju Memorial Sculpture demanding reelection to the DUCSU polls as several allegations of irregularities in the polls surfaced.

They also demanded the resignation of all the officials involved in the electoral process including the Vice-Chancellor (VC) of the university Akhtaruzzaman, Chief Returning officer SM Mahfizur Rahman and a fresh poll with new officials.

A total of six students have been observing the hunger strike including one named Rabiul Islam who returned to the base of Raju Memorial Sculpture and resumed his strike after taking treatment at DMCH.

Meanwhile, the newly elected Vice-President (VP) of DUCSU along with some leaders of Bangladesh General Student’s Right Protection Council visited the hunger strikers Friday noon.

“If you want to take the charge of DUCSU as VP, you have to do so crossing our corpses,” Rafia Tamanna, a protester, told Nur.

In reply, Nur said he would not do so and reconsider the decision.

At that time, the students also asked Nur whether he and Akhter Hossain, the new secretary-elect to social services, would go to Gana Bhaban in response to Prime Minister’s invitation.

Nur replied that he would since as the premier invited them all.

The students also vowed to continue their strike until their demands are met.

“We will not move from here until the authorities declare the schedule of a fresh election,” Rafia said to this correspondent.

Criticizing the authorities’ role in this regard, Nur said it is strange that the authorities are yet to come to see the students and meet their demand.

The students then asked Nur not to meet the prime minister.

“I have been demanding fresh polls since the beginning, but we have to decide on it, consulting with everyone. We have to inform the premier about the situation,” Nur replied to the students.

Meanwhile, the panels that boycotted the polls said they would declare next program on Monday.

“We will continue our campaign for fresh polls,” said Liton Nandi a defeated VP candidate from Progotishil Chhatra Oikyya.

The Monday’s DUCSU election, held after 28 years, ended up in boycott by all major panels except the BCL over allegations of irregularities and vote rigging.

The university authorities found the proof of vote rigging in Bangladesh-Kuwait Maitree Hall where several hundred ballot papers were found in a sack, said sources.

The hall provost was removed from duty following the discovery. Allegation had it that in Rokayyah hall students discovered three ballot boxes outside the booth during the election.