Bangladesh Nationalist Party-backed student body Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal is conducting its organisational activities from different restaurants in Dhaka as its president and general secretary avoid going to its central office.
Chhatra Dal president Rajib Ahsan and general secretary Akram Hasan have attended the central office on about 15 occasions since their selection in October 2014, JCD leaders said.
The organisational activities have been confined to press release and that too without holding any meeting or consulting central leaders before announcing any programme, they said.
Many overage leaders are running business or searching livelihood crossing age-limit for entrance to jobs while many have had to go to native districts failing to survive in the capital, said some leaders.
A number of leaders are, however, on the run to avoid police harassment or arrest, they said.
Rajib Ahsan told New Age on August 29 over phone that after becoming the Chhatra Dal president he used to go to its central office but could not continue because of police harassment,
facing cases and remaining in jail.
He admitted that now he run the organisation from places, including restaurants.
Rajib, who spent about 13 months in jail, claimed that senior BNP leaders asked many of them to move ‘safely’ to avoid ‘persecution’.
He said that top leaders other front organisations and even some influential BNP leaders could not go to their organisation offices fearing harassment and arrest.
Chhatra Dal general secretary Akram Hasan could not be reached despite repeated efforts for his comments.
About confining organisational activities to press release, Chhatra Dal office secretary Abdus Satter Patuary said that he had to go by directives of the president and the general secretary.
Chhatradal leaders and activists are suffering from ‘frustration’ having no interaction among them and no contact with president and secretary, the leaders said, adding that many lost their enthusiasm as the central committee’s two-year tenure expired in October 2016.
Chhatra Dal central office on the third floor and Daha city unit office on the ground floor of BNP central office at Nayapaltan in Dhaka are not opened regularly, they alleged.
The office staff was not regular at the office because of his engagement in another job, Abdus Satter said, adding that he himself opened the office at times but could not maintain the routine.
Leaders and activists are reluctant to participate in programmes of the organisation for various reasons. Many of the 736-member central committee do not think them important while others, who got position in the committee reportedly in exchange of money or on blessings of influential leaders, do not bother to participate in programmes, said the leaders.
Wild outbursts of Chhatra Dal leaders and activists took place in Sylhet, Barisal and Rajshahi in August 11-26 centring the announcement of their unit committees.
The dissident leaders and activists staged demonstration holding brooms in hands in Barisal, burnt effigy of the JCD president and locked BNP office.
In Rajshahi, rebel leaders and activists locked BNP city office.
A Chhatra Dal leader was killed in Sylhet reportedly as a sequel to conflict over committee.
On allegation of imposing committee in exchange of money, Rajib said that the practice of making such complaints and staging protests after failing to get desired position in the committee was not ‘uncommon’ in politics.
He said that if such allegation against him was true definitely the party would have taken organisational actions.
Dhaka University Chhatra Dal leaders were inactive as the unit could play no significant performance in recent time, unit leaders.
Abdus Sattar said that Dhaka University unit was not inactive but its performance was not at ‘expected’ level.
Dhaka University unit president Al Mahadee Talukder said that the unit was carrying out the organisation’s programmes facing hostile situation.
He said that they could not stay at halls and on the campus as ruling Awami League-backed student body Bangladesh Chhatra League and university authority handed over many of them to police.
Dhaka city west unit general secretary Shafaet Rabbi Arafat said that they could not go to the unit office regularly as they were on the run.
He defended his unit’s performance, but did not deny that the participation in programmes by the city’s other units was insignificant.
Dhaka city unit was divided into north, south, east and west units. The north unit formed 700-member committee. Full-fledged committees of south and west units were not formed yet, Arafat said.
Dhaka north city unit president and general secretary could not be reached for comments.
Chhatra Dal vice-president Nazmul Hasan said that it was difficult to carry out organisational activities in a normal way amid political persecution by the government.
He said that they were trying to infuse dynamism into its activists by forming new committees.
JCD joint secretary Mehebub Masum Shanto said that a new central committee was needed to rejuvenate leader and activists for agitations ahead of the next parliamentary polls likely to be held in December.
Chhatra Dal central committee is formed by BNP high ups and many competent leaders usually fail to come to the apex leadership, BNP leaders said.
Chhatra Dal central committee was formed through national council session in 1992.
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