5 more students fall sick while protesting for deferment of polls

United News of Bangladesh . Dhaka | Published: 14:05, Jan 18,2020 | Updated: 14:55, Jan 18,2020


Students of Dhaka University continue their fast-unto-death programme for the third consecutive day on Saturday, January 18, 2020, demanding deferment of Dhaka city polls slated for January 30, as the date coincides with Saraswati Puja, one of the biggest festival of the Hindus. — Sony Ramany

Five more students of Dhaka University fell sick on the third day of their fast unto death programme demanding deferment of polls to the two Dhaka city corporations slated for January 30.

The students are — Abhi Das Pritom of marketing department, Arnob Hore of Leather Engineering Institute, Dipom of theatre and performance studies department, Akash Chowdhury of tourism and hospitality management department. Ten other students had fallen sick on Friday, the second day of the protest.

About 40 DU students started the fast-unto-death programme on the campus on Thursday afternoon demanding deferment of the polls that coincides with the Saraswati Puja.

The Election Commission announced the date on December 22 last year, triggering criticism and protests. Kamal Hossain said the decision was unjust.

In Hinduism, Saraswati is the goddess of knowledge and learning, and the Puja is held at educational institutions. Polling stations will be set up at different educational institutions in the city during the polls, which, many fear will hamper the Saraswati Puja celebrations.

DU vice-chancellor Professor M Akhtaruzzman expressed solidarity with the students on Friday and said the students’ demand was logical.

‘I urge the EC to defer the voting date considering the Saraswati Puja,’ he said.

Meanwhile, the chamber judge is likely to hear an appeal challenging a High Court order the rejected a writ petition to defer the polls.

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