• Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Gonojagoron Mancha, Bloggers' Network

Imran's leadership questioned

10 students' bodies involved in mancha decide to give the platform formal democratic structure; faction of Blogger and Online Activist Network expresses "no-confidence" in its convener

Staff Correspondent

At least 10 students bodies involved in Gonojagoron Mancha have decided to reorganise the anti-war criminal platform and give it a formal structure following allegations of undemocratic practices by the mancha spokesperson Imran H Sarker.
The decision came at a meeting on Friday, attended by representatives from Chhatra Union, Chhatra Federation, and other student organisations.
Over the same allegations, some members of Blogger and Online Activist Network (BOAN), of which Imran is the convener, yesterday expressed "no-confidence" in his leadership at a press conference in Dhaka Reporters Unity and said they reorganised the network.
Blogger Atiqur Rahman, who was present at the conference, told The Daily Star that they had "relieved" Imran from the convener post because he failed to organise the network by creating a committee as he had promised a year back.
A statement of the faction reads that since February 22, 2013, BOAN members have repeatedly asked Imran to form a working committee, plan activities to eliminate confusions about bloggers, protest arrest, torture and the threat of using the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Act against bloggers.
But none of the expectations were met, it said, adding that Imran was also asked to prepare a list of the early members of the network last June.
Imran said BOAN had around 100 members, who had been with BOAN since its founding towards the end of 2012, and the people including Kaniz Aklima, Animesh Rahman and Atiqur Rahman, who called the press conference, were not among them.


He, however, said there was no formal membership list of the organisation.  
In fact, the official fan page of BOAN yesterday read that the press conference was not called by any BOAN members.
"Animesh and Atiqur had been involved in the mancha's activities with us since the beginning of the movement (February 5)," Imran said, admitting that in June the duo had asked him to issue formal membership forms.
To reorganise BOAN, the faction that called the conference formed a five-member committee excluding Imran.
Meanwhile, at Friday's meeting, the 10 student bodies decided to resolve allegations of undemocratic practices within the mancha caused by the absence of a formal structure of the platform, said Baki Billah, former president of Chhatra Union, talking to The Daily Star.
The meeting was also attended by representatives of the five student bodies, which on April 8 accused Imran of making undemocratic decisions.
Bappaditya Basu, president of Bangladesh Chhatra Moitree, who attended the meeting, said, "A seven-member committee comprising representatives from different student bodies will contact social and cultural organistions that were involved in the movement from the beginning."
"The current forum will be extended with representatives of those organisations, and a general meeting will be called to decide on the next course of action of the mancha," he said.
A committee was formed to resolve disputes between the opposing factions of the mancha.
Imran was also asked to submit accounts of the donations he received directly from different people and organisations during the movement within 15 days, he added.
Discussions were also held on creating a policy so that representatives from different student bodies can serve as spokesperson on a rotational basis, Basu said.
"But we did not have discussion about changing the spokesperson immediately, as we believe such demands came from groups that want to stall the movement," said Baki.

Published: 12:00 am Sunday, April 20, 2014

Last modified: 10:13 pm Sunday, April 20, 2014

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