12:00 AM, April 03, 2009 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, April 03, 2009

From food shop to tea stall, BCL men collect toll

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Rakib Ahammed And Najmul Alam Nobin

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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