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POST TIME: 15 March, 2019 12:43:07 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 15 March, 2019 09:56:52 AM
DU Ruqayyah Hall students postpone hunger strike
Protesters give DU authorities 24hrs to meet demands
Staff Reporter, Dhaka

DU Ruqayyah Hall students postpone hunger strike

Students of Ruqayyah Hall stage a fast unto death in front of the hall’s entrance on the Dhaka University campus yesterday to press home four-point charter of demands.

The students of Ruqayyah Hall of Dhaka University observing hunger strike over their four-point charter of demands yesterday postponed their programme. They also gave the authorities concerned a 24 hours ultimatum to meet their demands or face a resumption of the strike.

The announcement came after DU Proctor AKM Golam Rabbani, Ruqayyah Hall Provost Zeenat Huda and newly elected Ducsu leaders VP Nurul Haque Nur, GS Golam Rabbani, AGS Md Saddam Hussain came to the hall yesterday night and asked the students to withdraw the hunger strike.

Talking to reporters, Mousumi, the independent VP candidate of the hall union, announced the postponement of the hunger strike around 10pm.

“We are giving 24 hours ultimatum to

 

the authorities to meet our demands and postponing the strike. If our demands are not met in time, we will go for harder programmes,” she said.

One of the participants of the hunger strike, Srabani Shafique Dipti, said,”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”.

The students on hunger strike were Rafia Sultana from Islamic Studies Department, Sayeda Afrin and Jayanti Reza from the Women and Gender Studies Department, Shrabona Shafik Dipti from the Disaster Management Department and Promi Khisha from the Management Information Department.

Rafia was the hall council VP post candidate for Bangladesh Council to Protect General Students' Rights and Dipti was a contestant for the DUCSU liberation war affairs secretary post from the independent panel. Chhatra Federation member Sayeda and Promi Khisha contested for member posts.

On Wednesday night, the five students began a fast unto death demanding the resignation of Ruqayyah Hall Provost Prof Zeenat Huda, reelection to Ducsu and hall unions, ensuring security of the protesting girls and withdrawal of all cases filed against the independent candidates and their supporters, including the Ducsu VP-elect.

Meanwhile, four candidates of the opposition panel along with a general student who began a hunger strike at the base of Raju Sculpture on the campus on Tuesday afternoon demanding fresh election to the Ducsu continued their strike. Ducsu VP, GS and AGS elects yesterday visited the hunger strikers who were admitted to Dhaka Medical College Hospital after falling ill.

They students claimed that almost 72 hours have passed but no one from the DU authorities came to visit them.

Earlier in the day, the newly elected vice-president, Nurul Haque Nur, expressed solidarity with the students on hunger-strike to press their demand for re-election for the DUCSU, terming their demand ‘logical’.

Expressing solidarity, Nur said: “Morally, I stand by those who have taken a stand against wrongdoings. I also demand that the hall provost step down as she does not have any moral right to remain in her post.”

Meanwhile, in a press statement, the VC congratulated the newly elected panel of the DUCSU. He thanked the university administration, law enforcers, journalists and students who had voted. The vice-chancellor of Dhaka University, Prof. Md Akhteruzzaman, refused to make any comment on the hunger-strike, as well as on the possibility of holding a re-election.

Meanwhile, quota reform movement leader Rashed Khan, who was a general secretary candidate in the DUCSU polls, was allegedly given a death threat on Wednesday night.

“Two people went to my village home on a motorcycle and threatened my family. They said I will be gunned down. After this, my mother fell ill and was admitted to the Jhenaidah Islami Bank Hospital," he added.

On Monday, the DUCSU elections, being held after 28 years, ended in a boycott by all major panels, except the one of the BCL, over allegations of irregularities and rigging. Several hundred ballot papers were found in a sack in Bangladesh-Kuwait Maitree Hall.

Quota reform movement leader, Nurul Haq Nur, was elected vice-president of the DUCSU in Monday’s polls. Bangladesh Chhatra League general secretary Golam Rabbani won the post of general secretary of DUCSU and Saddam Hussain won the assistant general secretary's post. Eight among nine secretary posts went to candidates from the Chhatra League panel.

IK