Slogans and counter slogans sparked an aggressive face-off between activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) and Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) yesterday, as JCD activists went to Dhaka University campus for the first time with their newly-elected leadership.
Accompanied by over 200 JCD activists, Fazlur Rahman Khokon and Iqbal Hossain Shyamol -- elected president and general secretary on September 18 -- entered Madhur Canteen at around 11am.
Hundreds of BCL activists -- led by its central unit acting general secretary Lekhak Bhattacharjee and DU unit president Sonjit Chandra Das -- were also present at the canteen at that time.
Lekhak exchanged greetings with leaders of the pro-BNP student organisation.
JCD activists then started shouting slogans in support of Khaleda Zia and BCL men shouted counter slogans against the incarcerated BNP chairperson.
BCL activists were also seen taking position at different areas of the campus.
After staying at Madhur Canteen for an hour, the JCD men left the venue alleging that political coexistence is yet to be ensured on DU campus
“We came to Madhur Canteen for the first time after taking charge. We expected decorous behaviour from them [BCL] but they shouted inciting slogans. We would like to say coexistence is yet to be ensured,” JCD general secretary Iqbal Hossain Shaymol told reporters.
Asked about the allegation, BCL acting general secretary Lekhak Bhattacharjee said, “The allegation is baseless. We only asked them not to shout ‘zindabaad’ slogans when they came to meet us.”
Later, the JCD men brought out a procession on campus, demanding release of BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia from jail.
Wielding a banner, they paraded the streets on DU campus and met the Vice-chancellor Prof Md Akhtaruzzaman, seeking his cooperation.
After the meeting, Chhatra Dal president Fazlur Rahman Khokan said, “We met the VC and asked for the authorities’ cooperation to carry out our political activities. He assured us of cooperation.”
BCL vice-president Al Nahian Khan Joy and joint general secretary Lekhak Bhattacharjee were given the charges of president and general secretary on September 14 after Rezwanul Haque Chowdhury Shovon and Golam Rabbani were removed from the respective posts.
Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal held polls for electing its president and general secretary after 27 years, in line with a court injunction regarding its council.