A probe body could not find any proof of irregularities in the Dhaka University Central Students’ Union elections.
The committee, formed to investigate allegations of irregularities, submitted its report at a syndicate meeting Wednesday night and said it did not find any evidence of irregularities in the polls, said probe body member Humayun Kabir, associate professor of Islamic history and culture department.
The allegation was dismissed at the meeting chaired by DU Vice-chancellor Prof Md Akhtaruzzaman, said Humayun, also a university syndicate member.
The first Ducsu and hall union elections in 28 years was held on March 11. Voting at Bangladesh-Kuwait Maitree Hall was suspended around 9:30am that day after a stash of stamped ballots in favour of Bangladesh Chhatra League panel was found. Besides, allegation of barring students from casting votes also surfaced.
All the contesting panels except for the BCL, the pro-ruling Awami League student body, boycotted the polls, bringing widespread allegation of vote rigging.
In the polls, the BCL panel swept into the hall unions and secured most of the Ducsu posts, except for those of Ducsu VP and social welfare secretary.
In the face of students’ protest demanding fresh polls, the university authorities formed a seven-member committee to investigate the allegations on March 21.
Initially, the committee was asked to submit its report within seven working days, but the time was extended later. The probe report was placed before the syndicate after it had been submitted to the DU VC.
“We didn’t find any mentionable ground for the allegations raised centring the Ducsu polls,” said DU Pro-VC Prof Muhammad Samad.
He said the investigation committee made some recommendations in the light of allegations such as using ineffaceable ink pens and introducing serial numbers in ballots, adding that those recommendations would be considered in future.
Sajeda Banu, supernumerary professor of mathematics department, was the convener of the probe committee.
“No one has told the probe body that he or she was barred from casting votes,” probe body member Humayun told The Daily Star.
“Besides, nobody submitted any written complaint to the concerned hall provosts on the polling day. Those who have brought allegations submitted paper cuttings as proof. But irregularities cannot be proved on the basis of that.”
In reaction, Aroni Shemonti Khan, a Ducsu VP candidate from Swatantra Jote panel, yesterday told this newspaper that they had submitted several documents, including video clips, photos, and newspaper cuttings, on irregularities, but the university authorities ignored those.
Liton Nandi, VP candidate from the leftist panel, said the university authorities had held a “farcical” election. Everything, from the declaration of the election schedule to this probe report, was to “deceive” students.
“I had boycotted the elections earlier, so this probe report does not have any importance for me,” he said, alleging, “The Dhaka University administration worked for the ruling party’s student body.”
Earlier, then provost of Bangladesh Kuwait-Maitree Hall Shabnam Jahan was relieved of academic duties after stamped ballots were recovered from the hall.
At the syndicate meeting, 42 students of seven colleges affiliated with DU were suspended for different periods for adopting unfair means in examinations and for engaging in different anti-disciplinary activities.
The colleges are Dhaka College, Eden Mohila College, Government Shaheed Suhrawardy College, Kabi Nazrul Government College, Begum Badrunnesa Government Mohila College, Mirpur Government Bangla College and Government Titumir College.