DU students call off hunger strike
11:45 AM, January 18, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 09:41 PM, January 18, 2020

DU students call off hunger strike

Deferral of city polls date ends protests

Dhaka University students this evening called off their hunger strike after the Election Commission deferred the Dhaka city corporations’ polls date to February 1.

Utpal Bishwas, vice-president of DU’s Jagannath Hall Students’ Union, confirmed the development to The Daily Star.

The students had been holding a fast unto death over the polls date which had earlier coincided with Saraswati Puja.

Thirteen DU students had fallen ill during the demonstration, which ended after three consecutive days till today.

JU human chain

A section of Jahangirnagar University (JU) students earlier today formed a human chain on the campus demanding the deferment of Dhaka city polls that coincides with the Saraswati Puja, major religious festival of Hindu community.

The students under the banner of 'Shachetan Shikkhatribrindo of JU' formed the human chain in front of JU Central Library at around 11:00am to press home their demand.

Coming down heavily on Election Commission Sonatan Biddarthi Sangsad President Rabin Karmakar said despite being a constitutional institution, EC violated the basic rights of people guaranteed by the constitution by announcing Dhaka city polls on January 30 that coincides with the Saraswati Puja.

Yesterday, ten DU students, including Jagannath Hall union General Secretary Kajal Das, its Social Welfare Secretary Pradip Das, and two general students of the hall Apurbo Chakrabarty and Arka Saha, fell sick while observing the hunger strike, which they started on Thursday.

Of them, Apurbo and Arka were admitted to Dhaka Medical College Hospital while Kajal and Pradip were being administered intravenous saline.

The Election Commission officials on Wednesday said they do not intend changing the polls date for both of the city polls, as the High Court rejected a writ petition seeking deferral of the January 30 elections.

On December 22, the EC announced that elections to the two Dhaka city corporations will be held on January 30. Earlier, the education ministry on December 2 fixed January 29 as a public holiday for Saraswati Puja.

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