Dhaka – Voting in Dhaka University Central Student Union ended amid allegations of fraudulence, intimidation and physical assault of a candidate leading to a boycott by most contestants but the ruling Awami League’s student wing Bangladesh Chhatra League.
The boycotters on Monday protested on the streets demanding fresh election to the DUCSU, which looks after the student affairs of the Bangladesh’s leading university. The election was conducted more than 28 years after the last voting.
Dhaka University Vice Chancellor Md. Akhtaruzzaman said the election was generally peaceful apart from a few ‘isolated’ incidents. He praised the students for showing democratic stance and a mentality of co-existence.
“Students have set an example by casting votes in a disciplined way,” he said adding that there was a festive atmosphere on the campus during the voting.
Election panels announced by the Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal, the student wing of Bangladesh Nationalist Party, left-leaning organizations, quota reformers and independent candidates boycotted the election citing massive irregularities in the voting.
Some of them called a general strike for Tuesday to protest the vote rigging and fraud, reported mostly from two girls’ dormitories. Voting was suspended for sometime over the alleged irregularities.
The provost of Kuwait Maitree Hall was relieved of her duties and replaced by university administration after finding proof of stamped ballots.
In the boy’s dorms, the boycotters alleged that the activists of the ruling party’s student wing intimidated the common voters.
A candidate, who was running for the position of Vice President of DUCSU, was assaulted physically. Nurul Haque Nur accused the activists of the Chhatra League for the attack at Rokeya Hall.
The voting, however, began in the morning amid a festive mode as the election took place more than 28 years after the last voting. Students were seen waiting on the queues at to cast vote at their respective halls.