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Friday, April 3, 2009
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From food shop to tea stall, BCL men collect toll

Picking up from where BNP's student wing Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal had left off, leaders of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) are now allegedly indulging in extortion and manipulation of tenders.

Enjoying their supremacy in almost all the Dhaka University dormitories, BCL leaders have started taking regular toll from all tea stalls, food shops, cafes, and photocopy shops on the campus, campus sources said.

They even vandalised two food shops at TSC in February when the owners refused to pay them toll.

A section of the leaders of BCL, student wing of Awami League (AL), have been actively backing the extortion since the AL-led grand alliance government assumed power earlier this year, sources said.

Incumbent and former BCL leaders now control tender process of different development works in DU. A month ago, Chhatra League and Jubo League leaders reportedly negotiated directly for a work order worth Tk 24 crore.

A BCL central committee leader allegedly harassed a house tutor of Fazlul Haque Muslim Hall recently when the teacher refused to disclose the details of a development work inside the dormitory compound.

The BCL men also found a new source of extortion. They are now taking regular toll from the internet service providers of different halls, sources said.

The setting was pretty much the same when Chhatra Dal was calling the shots during the tenure of the BNP-Jamaat alliance government and the last caretaker government. Leaders and activists of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal had practised similar things. Now only the actors have changed.

Apprehending the defeat of four-party alliance in the ninth parliamentary elections, leaders of Chhatra Dal and Jamaat affiliated Islami Chhatra Shibir left DU dormitories on December 29 evening just when the poll results started pouring in.

Chhatra League leaders took over the rooms of Chhatra Dal and Shibir men and established their control over DU dormitories. The took charge of the so-called money-making sector on campus without confrontation with any student bodies. They even set up new stalls and shops on campus forcefully.

Chhatra League leaders also grabbed most of the rooms at the university's Teacher-Student Centre (TSC), once controlled by Chhatra Dal and Shibir activists.

Sources say that a section of the university administration is backing the Chhatra League leaders in their misdeeds.

In this regard, DU Proctor Saiful Islam Khan said, "We do not know whether a section of the university administration is backing any particular student body. But if anybody is found involved the university administration will take actions against them."

However, General Secretary of Chhatra League Dhaka University unit Sajjad Saqib Badsha told The Daily Star that if such things are actually happening on campus, it is the work of criminals and the university administration with the help of police should take action against them.

"We will take stern action if somebody is found doing such things using the name of our organisation," Badsha said.

Sources in an intelligence agency say that between the government changeover and last week 3,088 DU students have been displaced from DU dormitories. They said 327 dorm rooms have been occupied and 119 students got injured in different clashes. Among the injured 70 are of Chhatra Shibir, 29 Chhatra Dal and 20 are general students.

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Nothing new! Whoever come into power, their student wing do the same. But it seems present situation is more dangerous than any other ruling period since 1991!

: Zahirul

I believe there should not be any student and Labour political group for any major political parties as per their commitment with election commission! Now it is duty of election commission to go after those parties who still supports those Student and Labour politics.

: J Alam


  • Rumee
    Thursday, April 2, 2009 11:22 PM GMT+06:00 (358 weeks ago)

    Is it more important for the universities to sustain the political image of the student groups at the university or improve the education and research capabilities of the institutions. How in the world is the prestige of the university enhanced when the news on the universities are overwhelmingly focused on political gains/losses. We rarely see or hear about success and/or faliures of our teachers and students. I wish the students would have the courage to stand up do what is right, for once.

  • Rana
    Thursday, April 2, 2009 11:29 PM GMT+06:00 (358 weeks ago)

    It is very true report. Thanks to the reporter. If such culture is going on general people will suffer. Mass people gave their votes to bring this govt. in power. So, for the interest of common people, the honourable P M should take action against the present activities of BCL members. Their illegal activities should be stooped.

  • Sam G
    Thursday, April 2, 2009 11:45 PM GMT+06:00 (358 weeks ago)

    Student politics should be banned in Bangladesh. Major parties should stop supporting their student wings. AL should start it by setting an example for others.

  • MSU
    Friday, April 3, 2009 07:03 AM GMT+06:00 (358 weeks ago)

    Toll-collection is the result of student politics. Our political leaders and also the student leaders use student politics as the weapon for their personal gains by ruining country's education system.

    Student politics is allowed no where in the world. However, we are exception. Whole world is going forward but we are driving ourselves to backward.

    Toll collections and killing are the direct impacts of student politics. Please think for the future of the country.

    It's a total shame!

  • Nafiz Khan
    Friday, April 3, 2009 12:25 PM GMT+06:00 (358 weeks ago)

    What an unfortunate country we live in. May god save us form this evil

  • Mian Akbar Hussein
    Friday, April 3, 2009 10:54 AM GMT+06:00 (358 weeks ago)

    AL led government should take immediate action against BCL or whoever is involve in extortion and collecting tolls. This is a bad precedents and would jeopardize AL good name.

  • rahim
    Friday, April 3, 2009 10:01 AM GMT+06:00 (358 weeks ago)

    I am sure the present Ministers has read this news, the party should make efforts to review all those instead to blaming others. We expect student should devote themselves in study.

  • Zahid Hossain
    Thursday, April 2, 2009 11:18 PM GMT+06:00 (358 weeks ago)

    This is what happens when corruptions comes back to life. The last two year was the best time in bangladesh history.

  • Muhammed Abu Ridwan
    Friday, April 3, 2009 03:32 PM GMT+06:00 (358 weeks ago)

    Yesterday I read in this same paper a government minister criticised madrasas and religious based political parties for causing militancy. Will the same minister now blame his secular belief and his secular goondas (BCL) for creating secular militancy?

    It is obvious, nothing has changed and all this slogans about change by AL was nothing but empty gestures. What Bangladesh now needs is a new politics based upon a new ideology led by a new sincere leadership.

  • Nasarullah
    Friday, April 3, 2009 04:35 PM GMT+06:00 (358 weeks ago)

    The Honorable PM should immediately pay more attention to resolve all these conflicts and disorders and make sure the BCL activities are in right track, otherwise , activities of BCL should immediately suspended .

    IF this continues the new concept of DIN Bodelep Pala will be in stake and the all good initiatives of the Government would be under peril and question and the nation will again be disgruntled and helpless.

    Time has come to review and analysis the issue of student politics in educational intuitions and whether it should continue or to kept abeyance , a very meticulous decision for the betterment of all .

  • huq
    Friday, April 3, 2009 05:40 PM GMT+06:00 (358 weeks ago)

    Student politics should ban at least for six months and should observe closely its effect and then take decision in this regad





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