Dhaka University’s Madhu’s Canteen, an iconic restaurant considered as abode of Bangladesh’s student politics, gained heat on Saturday as the new leaders of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal went there on the day but were not welcomed by their rivals.
Traditionally, new leaders of any student organisation, particularly student fronts of ruling and opposition parties, were welcomed at the restaurant on their very first visit.
Activists of Chhatra Dal, associate body of students of Bangladesh Nationalist Party, gathered at the canteen around 11:00am and their new president Fazlur Rahman Khokan and general secretary Iqbal Hossain Shyamal came along with former president of its Dhaka University unit Al Mehedi Hasan Talukder.
Chhatra Dal could hold very few programmes on Dhaka University campus since January 2009 after Awami League assumed office.
Sensing chances of Chhatra Dal’s presence at the canteen, activists of ruling Awami League’s student body Bangladesh Chhatra League occupied most of the tables leaving only two empty since morning. Chhatra Dal activists had no chance to sit inside the canteen as there were few chairs for the leaders only. Later, Chhatra League acting general secretary Lekhak Bhattacharya and its university chapter president Sanjit Chandra Das also came the canteen.
Activists of both the student bodies chanted heated slogans in support of their organisations but no untoward incident took place.
Chhatra Dal activists also brought out a procession on the campus carrying posters seeking immediate release of jailed BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia.
Talking to media, Chhatra Dal general secretary Iqbal Hossain Shyamal said they came to Madhu’s Canteen for the first time after the new committee was formed but Chhatra League did not greet them.
Chhatra Dal would discuss with the university vice-chancellor to ensure democratic environment on the campus, he said.
Chhatra League’s university chapter president Sanjit Chandra Das said that they never impeded any political activities of regular students.
He also warned said if anyone hatch plot to unstable the campus, Chhatra League would give fitting replay.