With opposition-backed candidate Mosaddeque Hossain Bulbul winning the RajshahiMayoral polls, Islami Chhatra Shibir is again trying to get its hold on the Rajshahi University campus.
The Jamaat-e-Islami student wing, known for its violence, was driven out of the campus three years ago after the death of a pro-government Bangladesh Chhatra League activist.
Shibir activists are accused of running a ‘violent campaign’ in the metropolitan in support of the party stalwarts who are now in the dock for war crimes charges.
Minutes after Bulbul’s victory became apparent on Saturday’s polls, Shibir activists started returning to the campus one by one. Their presence in the campus since then is increasing by the day.
Leaders of the student front asserted their determination to keep hold on the campus ‘at any cost’.
Rajshahi University unit Shibir President Ashraful Alam Emon told bdnews24.com: “We have tolerated enough. But we will not tolerate anymore. None will be spared if our stay here is prevented.”
He sidestepped a question on whether there had been any changes in Shibir after Bulbul’s victory. “Bulbul is an 18-Party alliance-backed candidate. We too canvassed for him but don’t want to reap the fruit [of his victory].”
As the Shibir rejoices at Bulbul’s victory, Chhatra League despaired at the loss of the ruling party-backed candidate. The presence of Chhatra League activists’ at the university dormitories has declined significantly. Shibir, after their three years of failed attempt to enter the campus, grabbed the opportunity.
Chhatra League’s Rajshahi University unit President Ahmed Ali said many of their activists are heartbroken at the loss of AHM Khairuzzaman Liton. “Many are tired after campaigning [for Liton]. So many of them are not in the campus right now,” he said.
Its Organising Secretary Touhidul Islam Tuhin said the student front’s central command and local Awami League leaders have asked them to maintain calm at Shibir’s return.
However, the university administration expects a turf war any time and is quite reasonably anxious over the safety of the general students.
University Proctor Tariqul Hasan Milon alleged the law enforcers were not taking any steps against Shibir due to some ‘unknown reasons’.
“There’s an apparent numbness in the administration after the mayoral polls. We cannot run the university in this way,” he said.
Speaking to bdnews24.com, he alleged Shibir was trying to make the campus ‘volatile’ for the past several days.
“We cannot sit idle on our chairs while our students are in panic,” Milon said.
Panic spread among the students on Monday as several hundred Shibir activists thronged the campus. The Proctor, in a bid to ease tension, ordered students among the activists to return to class and the rest to leave the campus.
Shibir activists celebrated Bulbul’s victory by exploding several crude bombs on the campus.
BNP’s student front, Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal, has distanced itself from the Shibir saying it has nothing to do with Jamaat student front’s recent ‘activities’.
It said it would not form any ‘tactical alliance’ with the Shibir.
Chhatra Dal’s University unit Convenor Arafat Reza Ashik said, “Bulbul is our leader, not Shibir’s. If anyone is trying to reap benefits from his victory, they are mistaken.”
He said his party would not take responsibility if Shibir causes any troubles on the campus.
Motihaar police OC Asit Kuman Ghosh said they would provide all assistance to the university authorities if asked for.
Chhatra League activist Faruk Hossain was killed on Feb 8, 2010 during clashes with Shibir. The Jamaat front severed tendons of hands and legs of several ruling party student wing leaders on the day.
Afterwards, Shibir could not raise its head on the campus due to continuous opposition from the Chhatra League and regular police drives.
Source: Bd news24