Though people had a high hope of seeing a wonderful Ducsu election, the much-delayed polls only generated controversies since Dhaka University teachers have failed to play a responsible role with honesty, observed educationists and politicians.
Talking to UNB, DU former VC Prof AAMS Arefin Siddique, DU Professor Emeritus Serajul Islam Choudhury, Ducsu’s first VP after the independence Mujahidul Islam Selim and last VP Amanullah Aman said a judicial or proper investigation should be carried out into the incidents of irregularities and make the university administration accountable.
Elections to Dhaka University Central Students’ Union (Ducsu) and hall union were held on Monday after 28 years, with the participation of major student bodies.
All but Bangladesh Chhatra League rejected the election results bringing allegations of irregularities, and demanded reelection.Prof Arefin Siddique said though students and the country’s people waited with huge excitement to see a good Ducsu election, unfortunately it was marred by controversies and irregularities thanks to the failure of the university administration.
He said they did not expect a cent percent fair election, but they could not imagine such irregularities and fraud like ballot stuffing in Dhaka University’s election which was conducted by teachers.
“Many questions have already been raised by different student organisations making the March 11 polls controversial. Especially, the recovery of a stash of stamped ballots from Kuwait Maitree Hall was an astonishing one. Unmarked ballots were also found at Ruqayyah Hall. Some other serious allegations were brought by student organisations,” the former DU VC said.Dr Arefin said a thorough investigation is necessary to immediately identify those responsible for the unexpected incidents and election fraud and punish them. “No election of Dhaka University was questionable in the past. The authorities must find out why this election has become questionable. The responsible persons should be punished to restore the image of the university.”
He said an investigation is also necessary to unearth the reasons why transparent ballot boxes were not used in the polls and the boxes sent at night instead of Monday morning. “It has to be probed why Fazlul Huq Muslim Hall’s provost Dr Mizanur Rahman was forced to resign just two days before the voting.”
Prof Serajul Islam Choudhury said Ducsu has got controversial as the university teachers failed to play a neutral role in conducting the election as guardians of all students.Prof Serajul Islam said the election should have been held in the administrative or academic buildings instead of dormitories as no student organisation, except Chhatra League, had any political activities in the halls.
Besides, he said, the election time was short and it could have been at least eight hours.
The renowned educationists also think the authorities should accept the students’ demand for reelection and take steps for a fair and neutral election. “The election won’t be fair unless the teachers play a neutral and honest role as true guardians of students.”
Mujahidul Islam Selim said, “You can’t call it an election in any way. It’s a farce and deception jointly staged by the university administration and Chhatra League.”
As the election was held as per a high court order, he said, now the apex court can form a judicial probe body to look into the election irregularities. “Reelection to Ducsu is necessary for upholding the tradition and dignity of the university.”
Selim, also the president of Communist Party of Bangladesh, regretted that the Dhaka University teachers could not leave up to their social standing as they have failed to ensure a credible election rising above parochial party politics.
“It’s unfortunate that the teachers of the university are involved in mechanism to snatch student’s voting right instead of protecting it. It’s an ominous sign for the country since our teachers are compromising with honesty.”
Amanullah Aman said the university authorities had got a chance to show people how to hold a fair election, but they failed as the teachers involved in the election process sacrificed their morality, dignity and social status only to protect the interest of a party.
He said reelection involving neutral teachers is now crucial to restore the university’s image. “Or else, people will lose their respect for the Dhaka University teachers and students.