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BCL drives out 97

DU Correspondent

Leaders of a Dhaka University hall unit of the ruling Awami League-backed Chhatra League on Monday night stopped 97 first-year students staying in the hall reportedly for not having any ‘authorisation’ of AL leaders of areas the students are from.
The students, enrolled in the university in the 2013–14 academic session and attached to Salimullah Muslim Hall, were asked to collect ‘signed authorisation’ from the party’s local leaders and their phone numbers so that the loyalty of the students, willing to stay in the hall, could be verified, hall residents and the victims said.
The students, who gathered in the hall in the past week, all were staying in Room 103 of the hall, known as gana or open-to-all room as seats in the hall were yet to be allotted them. Freshers traditionally stay in that room.
According to the victims and other residents, the Chhatra League’s hall unit general secretary Nizamul Islam Didar along with his supporters forced them out into the guest room about 11:30pm and inquired about their political affiliation.
‘We were about to go to bed when some senior students called us downstairs,’ said a fresher of sociology.
‘Didar told us that we were free to have whatever political affiliation we wanted to but if we wanted to stay in the hall, we would need direct authorisation from AL leaders,’ he added.
The 97 students only a day before were been till February 15 to collection ‘authorisation’ from
AL leaders but later the Chhatra League leaders decided to force the issue on them on Monday, Chhatra League activists at the hall said.
Didar admitted to asking the students to leave and said he was ‘surprised’ at so many students arriving at the hall ‘the same day.’
‘I would like to verify their political identity,’ he said. ‘We have asked the students who have political backing to share seats with us.’
He further said that he had asked for ‘a few days’ from the students to manage the ‘seat crisis’ in the hall.
The acting hall provost, Mahbubul Alam Joarder, however, said that newcomers were not authorised to stay in the hall without completing official procedures.
‘I have nothing to do if they are not legally residents of my hall,’ he said. ‘But I am looking into the matter to avoid any untoward situation.’
Although the university authorities traditionally allows male newcomers, without having any official seat allotment, to stay in the hall in the light of ground realities, they students often fall prey to student organisations of ruling parties.

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