What began as a means to end the 28-year-long wait for Dhaka University Central Students’ Union (Ducsu), led to an eruption of protests at campus.
Mass protests rolled out to the streets of campus after the opposition panels boycotted the Ducsu election alleging irregularities and vote rigging.
Last reported, the activists of the panels of quota reform, independents, Chhatra Federation panel and leftists were staging a sit-in near the vice chancellor residence.
They were demanding re-election and refused to move from the place without an announcement, our staff correspondent reports from the spot.
Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal activists had also taken position near the residence independently for a little while demanding likewise and resignation of the VC.
Additional police were brought in to clear the entrance of the VC’s residence around 2:00pm. Security deployment was increased around VC Chattar.
HOW DUCSU ELECTION BEGAN
The atmosphere was festive at campus with students seen lining up at respective halls, where the voting centres were set up, waiting in queue to cast vote.
Voting began from 8:00am and was supposed to go on without a break until 2:00pm.
Non-resident students, wielding their white identity cards, were also seen crowding at the halls to cast their vote, our correspondents report from the ground.
However, a shadow of doubt was prevailing on the Ducsu election from beforehand with the establishment of booths inside halls and restriction on observers.
The election was of particular significance because the last Ducsu election was held 28 years ago, and was the opening for students’ union election to other public universities.
IRREGULARITIES, RIGGING SURFACE
Mass irregularity was reported from two girls’ halls – Rokeya Hall and Bangladesh-Kuwait Maitree Hall. Proof of irregularities were found there.
The provost of Kuwait Maitree Hall was relieved of her duties and replaced by university administration after finding proof of stamped ballots.
Also, after three hours of protests over suspected discrepancy over ballot boxes, girls of Rokeya Hall found stashed empty ballots in the hall, hidden from the election process.
There were complaints from boy’s halls that ruling party activists were hindering voting by making queue longer by standing in line even after voting.
A Ducsu vice president candidate Nurul Haque Nur was assaulted at Rokeya Hall and another attack was attempted on another VP candidate Liton Nandi.