The Dhaka University authorities on Saturday denied the allegations of vote rigging and irregularities in the elections to the Dhaka University Central Students’ Union and hall students’ unions on March 11.
In a statement issued Saturday afternoon, the university authorities claimed that a vested quarter was trying to gain political benefit destabilising the peaceful atmosphere in the country as well as on the campus.
The university authority, however, expressed concern about the incident took place at the Kuwait-Maitree hall and said it was true that a bag filled with stamped ballots was recovered from a room adjacent to the polling booths. After being informed, the vice-chancellor ordered postponement of the voting and asked the chief returning officer to go there.
‘He [VC] also appointed new provost to the hall relieving the previous provost of the duties and formed a five-member probe body to investigate the incident, chief returning officer also managed to get new ballots printed for the concerned hall and resumed the polling,’ read the statement signed by director (in-charge) of the DU public relations office Mahmud Alam.
The university authority said, if there was any question of obscurity or laxity, they would take exemplary measures against the perpetrators after getting the probe report.
Citing the issue of Ruqayyah hall, the authority claimed, ‘It was said very confusingly that ballots were recovered from Ruqayyah hall. Basically the ballots were not kept in the ballot box, rather in the trunk sent by the chief returning officer. The ballots were not stamped and unused.’
Protesting students at Ruqayyah Hall locked the gates of all administrative rooms, including the provost’s one, early Saturday demanding resignation of the hall provost and re-election to their hall union.
The girls of Ruqayyah Hall had earlier given a 24-hour ultimatum to the authorities after withdrawing their strike on March 14.
‘As the ultimatum ended Friday night, we have locked the gates but no one reached us. We would not allow any official activity in the hall until a new provost is appointed,’ said Shrobona Shafiq Dipty, one of the students who observed hunger strike.
She alleged that the hall provost and hall unit Chhatra League leaders were involved in stashing ballots during the elections.
‘We have submitted written complaint about vote rigging but administration is yet to take any initiative in this regard,’ she added.
She further said that they would submit memorandum to the president Abdul Hamid.
Chhatra Union general secretary Liton Nandi said that they would announce a fresh protest programme on Monday.
Earlier on Friday night, five protesters broke hunger strike after four days as the university authorities assured them of discussion on their demands for re-elections to the DUCSU and resignation of people engaged in conducting the polls.
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